Contact lenses: The surprising ways they may actually be damaging your eyes

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Your Contact Lenses Could Soon 'Talk' to You About your Health

I have had contacts since I was about 13 years old. I've cleaned them, cleaned their case, and remembered to replace them as often as suggested.

But apparently, that's not enough.

There are so many things that you might not be told, or might not remember, that are horrible for your eyes if you're wearing contacts.

I was in complete shock when I found out about some of these dos and don'ts, and I definitely have to change some of my habits.

From where you wear them, to what you clean them with, there are some guidelines that might not be so apparent when trying to be a clean and healthy lens wearer.

While all of this germ talk may be making you want to wear your glasses more often, these tips are extremely easy to follow and can make a huge difference for your eyes!

Scroll through below to see how to be a safer, cleaner contact lens wearer yourself:

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Contact Lenses: The Surprising Way They May Actually Be Damaging Your Eyes
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Contact Lenses: The Surprising Way They May Actually Be Damaging Your Eyes

1. Swimming and showering with contacts is a no-no

There are so many little microorganisms in water, you never even know what you’re swimming into. If you’re in a pool or any body of water, there have been so many people there that germs and organisms can swim into your eye. And because you have contacts, you are at greater risk for infection.

Even in a shower, these microorganisms can latch onto your contact lenses, stay, and grow without you ever knowing! Then, one day, you might find yourself with an eye infection and wonder why.

2. UV protective contacts don’t actually protect you from UV light

Excessive UV light can actually cause your infections, too. Especially if you’re not wearing protective eye wear,on top of your lenses.

Some lenses claim that they are UV protective, but really, they’re not enough to stop the damage.

100 percent UV-blocking sunglasses are the safest bet.

3. You’re probably not cleaning them efficiently

I know we’d all like to think that we clean them enough.

But apparently, cleaning and storing them every night with a saline solution is definitely not enough. Bacteria grows in the dark place of a contact lens case, so you need to go the extra mile to ensure your eye’s safety. Here is the best process to follow for successfully clean lens wearing:

1. Wash your hands, and dry them thoroughly.

2. Take out, then disinfect your lenses.

3. Then, rinse them with solution.

4. Fill case with fresh solution, and close them up inside the case.

When putting them back in? Repeat this process, putting them in your eye instead of the case.

4. Cleaning just your lenses isn’t enough

 It’s also important to remember these three things.

Cleaning your contact lens case is just as important as cleaning the lenses themselves. You should clean it with hot water and soap, then let it dry opened faceup.

Replacing your case every 2 to 3 months is just as necessary as replacing your toothbrush.

And wearing glasses to give your eyes a break is just like taking a day off of work or exercise after a long span of time.

5. You NEED to use certain solution

Using saline solution is basically just distilled water, and distilled water is not a useful cleaning agent. It can reshape and damage your lenses!

If you’re thinking of making your own solution, remember how many germs are likely to fall into the mix.

The best solution for your lenses will include a binding agent, preservative, buffer, and wetting agent of some kind.

6. Sleeping with them is NEVER good

Even if your lenses are extended wear, that never means that you should sleep with them in. Extended wear when you’re eyes are open and active during the day is completely different.

When you sleep with them in, you’re reducing the oxygen that gets to your eyes.

That will not only increase infection risk, but will also be pushing your lenses onto your eye creating a bind!

7. Touching your eyes throughout the day can cause infection

 Your hands have germs like you cannot imagine. If you touch your eyes or face, those germs can make their way under your lens.

If they’re trapped under there, you can easily get a painful eye infection.

8. You Can Get Keratitis Or Worse Without Taking Proper Care Of Them

Keratitis is the most common of all of the contact lens infections. It’s an inflammation of your cornea which can damage layers of your eye, causing pain, blurred vision, and sometimes even blindness.

Worse than that? An amoeba, an acanthamoeba being the worst case. They live in lakes, tap water, fresh water, soil, and many other common places we find ourselves. So, if we don’t clean and use our lenses correctly, these amoebae can continue to live and grow in our eyes.

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