While there are many benefits to wearing contact lenses, it also comes with many risks if you’re not careful. They can be an extremely safe eyewear option if properly taken care of. If you’re thinking of switching over to contact lenses or have been wearing them for a while, here are seven facts you should know.

Avoid water at all times

No matter where your water supply comes from, it all contains amoeba, tiny organisms that can cause an eye infection. While treatable, the Acanthamoeba keratitis condition that results can cause permanent vision loss if left untreated. You should also avoid wearing your lenses in the shower, while bathing or when swimming. If you need to wear them during a swim, make sure you’re wearing airtight goggles.

Always rub them when cleaning

Whether you’re using a no-rub solution or a standard one, rubbing is still necessary in order to properly remove deposits on the lenses. It’s also important that you don’t reuse solution, as it can carry bacteria that fresh solution is free of.

Don’t sleep with them on

There’s a reason why optometrists tell you not to sleep with your contact lenses on. Because lens wearers are more prone to eye infections thanks to less oxygen reaching the eyes, you’re more vulnerable to irritation, bacteria and pathogen growth when you’re eyes are closed overnight. While some lenses are made for extended wear time due to their breathability, it’s still not recommended you sleep in them.

Always wash your hands

Your hands are coated in layers of bacteria at any point in the day, which is why it’s essential that wash them before putting in or taking out your contact lenses. If you don’t, bacteria from your hand will transfer to your eyes and likely cause an infection. Before touching your eyes, avoid using oily soaps and make sure your hands are dried well using a lint-free towel.

Clean and replace your case

All you need to do when properly caring for your lens case is to rinse the interior with fresh solution, never water. Then simply let the case air dry over an hour or two. You should be cleaning your case frequently and replacing it entirely every three months. Keeping it for longer will cause an increase of pathogen build-up, which can then make their way into your eyes.

Constantly monitor how your eyes feel

Don’t ignore any discomfort you may feel when wearing your contact lenses. If they’re hurting you, then it might be a sign that dust or unwelcomed particles have found their way underneath. Rinse your eyes out with rewetting drops or a non-peroxide solution to get rid of debris.

Know potential eye infection symptoms

If you’re experiencing red, irritated eyes, an increase in pain even after you’ve removed your contact lenses, sensitivity to light, blurry vision, watery eyes or strange discharge, then you need to see your optometrist immediately. These are all signs, whether combined or separate, of an eye infection that could permanently alter your eyesight if left untreated.

At BC Vision Care, our Langley eye doctors provide the best care for our patients. Our eye care centre is more than capable of performing laser eye surgery, vision therapy, eye exams and more. Call to book an appointment.