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3 Mistakes You Might Be Making In Caring For Your Contact Lenses

The CDC estimates that roughly 45 million people wear contact lenses in the U.S., showing just how prevalent this form of vision correction is. But of all these people, how many are taking proper care with their lenses? We obviously have no way of knowing for sure, but we have seen patients making some common mistakes over the years. To help you avoid doing the same, here are some tips for wearing contacts.


Mistake #1: Being Casual About Hygiene

 People are often careful when they start using contact lenses but, like with anything else that becomes an automatic habit, this carefulness can slide over time. Maybe this has happened to you. You washed your hands faithfully for the first few months of contact wear, but slowly got more comfortable taking them in and out. Now, you’re not sure if you ever wash your hands before touching your lenses.

This is all too common, but it’s the number one mistake we’re listing for a reason. If you don’t thoroughly wash your hands before inserting or removing your contacts, you’re setting yourself up for a potential eye infection.

Considering that “serious eye infections can lead to blindness and affect up to one out of every 500 contact lens users per year,” this isn’t a risk worth taking. It’s also important to remember that less serious infections can still be very painful and create a disruption in your quality of life. Bottom line? Wash your hands every single time you plan to touch your contact lenses.


Mistake #2: Failing to Follow Instructions

 This is another error that often increases with time, as we all have a tendency to let our guards down once something becomes part of our normal routine. Even so, it’s just as important to follow instructions whether you’re two days, two years or two decades into your relationship with contact lenses.

First, make sure you’re following your doctor’s orders about the ways to clean contact lenses. There are special solutions you can use, and each one comes with its own guidelines.

For example, CLEAR CARE® uses hydrogen peroxide to clean lenses, but your lenses have to soak for at least six hours in order to become neutralized. If you take them out too early, you can damage your eyes. Similarly, if you use a case that’s different from the one that CLEAR CARE® provides, you may hinder the results. Make sure to check your specific lens solution for instructions and, when in doubt, ask your eye doctor.

Second, take the time to learn how to clean out contact lens cases. We recommend sterilizing them weekly with boiling water , but always check with your doctor and comply with their advice.


Mistake #3: Treating Them Like an Accessory

Another mistake we often see is made by those who wear contact lenses for vision correction as well as those who do not. Of course, we’re talking about using colored - or otherwise designed - contact lenses as part of a costume.

Just remember this: contacts should only be used by individuals under the care of an eye doctor, who have had a recent eye exam and have a prescription for their use. Any other usage can be problematic, if not harmful.

Contact lenses can be a wonderful method for correcting your vision, but your care of them is key. These are some of the mistakes we commonly see, along with tips for wearing contacts safely and successfully. Have any questions or need to book your next eye exam? Schedule an appointment today!