15 Tips to Avoid Contact Lens Related Eye Infections
10/15/2015 | Education
- Thoroughly wash and rinse hands before touching your contacts. Use a mild non-cosmetic soap. Soaps with perfumes, oils, or lotions will leave a film on your hands, which could transfer to your lenses and cause eye irritation.
- Keep your fingernails short and smooth to avoid damaging your lenses or scratching your eye.
- To avoid accidentally inserting contacts inside out, place a contact lens on the tip of your finger so that it forms a cup. Look at the contact lens from the side. If the cup looks like it is flaring out at the top and has a lip, the contact lens is inside out. If it looks like the letter “U”, the contact lens is right side out.
- Apply make-up after putting in your contacts to avoid getting make-up on your lenses.
- Always use the disinfecting solution, eye drops, and lens cleaners your eye care professional recommends for you. Some eye products or drops are not safe for contact lens wearers.
- Never use tap water to clean your contact lenses. Microorganisms can live in distilled water, causing infection. Do not use saline solution and rewetting drops to disinfect lenses (neither is an effective disinfectant).
- Absolutely do not “rinse” your contacts in your mouth. The mouth is full of bacteria!
- When you clean your contact, rub it gently with your index finger in the palm of your hand with contact solution. Lightly rubbing your contact removes buildup.
- Clean your contact lens case every time you use it with either sterile solution or hot tap water. Let it air dry. Replace the contact lens storage case every three months. If you have and eye infection you should change your case immediately.
- Wear your contacts only as long as your doctor recommends.
- Never wear someone else’s contact lenses as it can spread infection or particles from their eyes to yours.
- Do not sleep with contact lenses in your eyes unless you are prescribed “extended wear” contacts. Even then your eyes will need a break from sleeping with them. Closed eyes don’t allow tears to carry a healthy amount of oxygen to your eyes.
- Don’t let the tip of solution bottles or rewetting drops touch anything! Fingers, eyes, or contact lenses can contaminate the solution.
- Remove contact lenses before swimming or entering a hot tub. Bodies of water contain bacteria which can cause infections. Additionally, contacts can trap bacteria against the eye.
- If you develop any eye irritation, remove your contact lenses and don’t use them again until you talk with your eye care professional. Wearing a contaminated pair of lenses invites the infection to stay. When you get back to wearing contacts, closely follow your doctor’s instructions to prevent eye infections.