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Bad Contact Lens Habits to Leave Behind 

Are you a contact lens wearer? If so, you know how easy it is to fall into bad habits with your lenses. Whether sleeping in them or not properly disinfecting them, bad contact lens habits can lead to major problems. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of bad contact lens habits that you should leave behind in 2023.
Following these tips will help keep your eyes and vision healthy when wearing contact lenses.

contact lenses

1Sleeping in your contact lenses

While some contact lenses are designed for extended wear, sleeping in your contact lenses is a bad habit you should avoid. When you sleep in your contacts, it can lead to a number of problems, including corneal ulcers, infections, and inflammation. This is because when you sleep, your eyes naturally become less oxygenated, which can cause bacteria to grow on your contacts and in your eyes.

In addition, sleeping in your contacts can cause your lenses to dry out, which can make them more uncomfortable to wear and can even cause them to become damaged or torn. If you wear contacts, it is important to always remove them before going to bed, even if you plan to take a short nap.

If you frequently fall asleep with your contacts in, consider using daily disposable lenses or talking to your Optometrist about other options that are better suited for extended wear. It is also important to follow the recommended wearing and replacement schedules for your lenses and properly clean and store them to avoid any potential complications.

If you wear extended-wear lenses, then immediately have your eyes checked if there are sudden changes in vision or comfort and make sure that you have regular check-ups with your Optometrist to help prevent future eye problems.

2Wearing your contacts for too long

Wearing your contacts for too long is another bad habit that you should avoid. Your Optometrist will typically provide recommendations for how long to wear your lenses each day, and it is important to follow these guidelines to ensure the health of your eyes.

When you wear your contacts for too long, it can lead to a large number of problems. One of the most common issues is dry eyes, which can cause discomfort, irritation, and even damage to your corneas. Wearing your contacts for too long can also increase your risk of developing an eye infection or other complications, as your lenses can become contaminated with bacteria, dirt, and other debris over time.

If you need to wear your contacts for extended periods, consider using lenses designed for extended wear or talk to your optometrist about other options more suitable for your needs.

3Not cleaning your contacts properly

Following proper cleaning and disinfection procedures is important to ensure that your lenses stay free of debris and bacteria.

To clean your contacts properly:

  1. Start by giving your hands a good, soapy wash with water. 
  2. Place your lens in the palm of your hand and add a few drops of contact lens solution.
  3. Rub the lens gently with your finger to remove any debris or protein buildup, and then rinse the lens thoroughly with a solution before placing it in your case.

Also, use the correct type of solution recommended by your optometrist and replace the solution each time you clean your lenses. Never reuse old solutions or “top off” the solution with fresh solutions.

If you are unsure how to clean your contacts properly or experiencing discomfort or other problems, contact your optometrist for guidance. They can provide you with the appropriate instructions and recommendations for your specific type of lenses and eye health needs.

contact lens wearing

4Swimming with Contacts On

Swimming with contacts on is a bad habit that you should avoid. Contact lenses can absorb water, which can lead to a number of problems. Water can also contain bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms that can potentially cause serious eye infections.  These risks are greater with higher water temperatures and where there is steam, such as in a sauna.

If you need to wear corrective lenses while swimming, consider using prescription goggles or a swim mask instead of wearing your contacts. Prescription goggles are specifically designed for swimming and can help you see clearly while protecting your eyes from water and other irritants.

If you do decide to wear your contacts while swimming, be sure to take the following precautions:

  • Wear goggles or a swim mask to protect your eyes from water and other irritants.
  • Remove your contacts immediately after swimming, and clean and disinfect them thoroughly before wearing them again.
  • If you experience redness, pain, or other symptoms after swimming with your contacts, contact your optometrist for guidance. An eye exam will determine the appropriate treatment, which will help you recover quickly and avoid further complications.

5. Using water to clean your contacts

Water can contain microorganisms, such as bacteria, fungi, and parasites, that can cause serious eye infections. These microorganisms can attach to your contact lenses and can cause inflammation.

Additionally, tap water may contain minerals and other chemicals that can cause deposits to build up on your contacts, reducing their clarity and comfort.

If you need to clean your contacts, use a contact lens solution recommended by your Optometrist. This solution is specifically formulated to clean and disinfect your lenses and can help remove debris and buildup without introducing harmful microorganisms into your eyes.

If you do not have a contact lens solution available and need to clean your lenses, it is better to remove them and dispose of them properly rather than using water to clean them. If you must use water, make sure it is distilled or sterile and not tap water, which can contain harmful contaminants.

6. Sharing your contacts with others

Contact lenses are classified as medical devices and are prescribed specifically for your eyes and vision needs. Wearing someone else’s contacts, or letting someone else wear your contacts, can introduce harmful bacteria and other microorganisms into your eyes, which can cause infections, inflammation, and other eye complications.

In addition, sharing contacts can also lead to other problems, such as corneal abrasions or scratches, that can cause pain and discomfort.

If you have a close friend or relative who needs corrective lenses, encourage them to visit an Optometrist and get their own prescription for contact lenses. This is the safest and healthiest option for their eyes and vision needs. Never share your contacts with anyone, even if they appear to have similar vision needs or wear the same type of contacts as you.

7Using expired contacts or cleaning solutions

Contact lenses and cleaning solutions have expiration dates for a reason – over time, the effectiveness of the solution can decrease, and the lenses can become less comfortable and potentially less safe to wear.

Expired contact lenses can become brittle or dehydrated, leading to discomfort, and may also harbour bacteria or other microorganisms that can cause eye infections. Similarly, expired cleaning solutions may not effectively remove debris or microorganisms from your lenses, potentially leading to irritation in the eyes and infections.

Always check the expiration date on your contacts and cleaning solutions before using them. If either has expired, discard them, and get a new supply from your Optometrist. It is also important to follow the recommended storage guidelines for your lenses and solution and replace them as your Optometrist recommends.

eye exam

8Skipping eye exams

Eye exams are essential for keeping your eyes healthy and your vision clear. During an eye exam, your Optometrist can detect and diagnose eye diseases, such as cataracts and macular degeneration, as well as other eye conditions that may affect your eyesight and overall health.

Early detection and treatment of eye problems can help prevent vision loss and other complications and can improve your overall quality of life. It is recommended that you have a comprehensive eye exam, preferably every two years or more frequently, if you have a history of eye problems or if you have certain health conditions that increase your risk of eye problems.

Eyes by Design by Your Side

If you experience vision changes or other eye-related symptoms, such as redness, pain, or discharge, contact Eyes by Design Central Coast Optometrist immediately.
We can guide you and help you determine if you need to schedule an eye exam or other treatment appointment.

This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general eye health topics.
It should not be used as a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Always seek the advice of your health care professional prior to incorporating this as part of your health regimen.

dr nick

Dr Nicholas Altuneg
For over two decades, my greatest passion has been helping people of all ages live improved lives through better vision. At Eyes by Design, vision is so much more than being able to see clearly or read small letters from far away; it determines your perceptions and reactions every second of the day.
Read more about Dr Nick

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