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Thursday, April 09, 2015 1:52 pm

Contact Lens Care: Fundamentals 101

Contact Lenses vs. Glasses

The decision to wear contact lenses is often more than just a cosmetic choice. For those who need vision correction to bring the world into focus,  contact lenses allow the wearer the freedom to engage in sports and other highly mobile activities without the hassles typically associated with eyeglasses. The freedom to pour all your attention into an activity without distraction is truly a game-changer for many. This is especially true for many young adolescents who struggle with the need to wear eyeglasses with protective sports eyewear.

Contact lenses: a whole new world!

Contact Lenses: a whole new world! (Photo credit: Kathleen Kvilhaug)

Good hygiene is paramount!

Good hygiene is essential when handling contact lenses to ensure continued eye health. It is critically important to remember to always wash hands with soap and water and dry well prior to handling contact lenses. Water should not come in contact with contact lenses as water can introduce harmful organisms onto the lenses and consequently into the eye. It is recommended that contact lenses be removed prior to swimming, showering, or soaking in a hot-tub.

Clean hands, healthy eyes! (Photo credit: Kathleen Kvilhaug)

Clean hands, healthy eyes! (Photo credit: Kathleen Kvilhaug)

One organism commonly found in soil and water is Acanthamoeba. This organism is responsible for Acanthamoeba keratitis, a rare but serious infection of the cornea of the eye that can result in permanent impairment or blindness.¹ Symptoms of infection include: eye pain, eye redness, blurred vision, sensitivity to light, sensation of something in eye, excessive tearing. It is important to seek medical attention if any of these symptoms develop and persist.

Contact lens care best practices:

• Always wash hands with soap and water and dry well prior to lens handling.

• Always remove lenses prior to activity involving water.

• Always follow instructions for length of wearing time and lens replacement.

• Always use appropriate lens care products and never top-off or reuse solutions.

• Always clean storage case by rubbing and rinsing with lens solution, allow to air dry.

• Always replace contact lens storage case at least once every three months.

Ask your eye health professional or pharmacist for advice whenever questions or concerns arise. We want to help you protect your vision and reduce your risk of complications.

In the event you develop an eye condition or infection, be sure to follow the recommended course of therapy and complete all medication for the best outcome. There’s so much to see through healthy eyes and with contact lenses it’s a whole new world!

Resources:

¹ http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/acanthamoeba/gen_info/acanthamoeba_keratitis.html