By Dr. Molly Wood
It’s no surprise that more than one in ten people wear contact lenses considering they are a safe, convenient, and comfortable alternative to clearer vision without the fogging of lenses, the bulk of a frame, or the discomfort of a nose pad. But they’re not entirely risk free! Proper handling and care of the lenses is essential for the longevity of the contact lens, as well as a proper fit for the health of your eye and vision.
Contact lenses are considered medical devices, which means they need to be properly fit by a licensed eye care provider to ensure they have proper movement and coverage which will reduce your risk of contact lens related complications. The eye care professional will also determine the proper power of the contact lens so you are seeing well. In the state of Pennsylvania, a contact lens prescription is valid for one year from the date it is given. A comprehensive eye exam is needed to renew the prescription each year, to prevent contact lens related ocular complications.
On rare occasions, contact lenses can cause infection in the eyes, or corneal ulcers. In addition to a proper fit, some other ways we can be sure we’re protecting our eyes while wearing contacts would be to follow some simple contact lens hygiene rules:
-Always wash your hands with soap and water, not hand sanitizer, before handling the lenses.
– Don’t “over wear” your contact lenses; make sure you’re taking them out every night and replacing them according to their wear schedule.
– Never soak your lenses in tap water or rinse with saliva, only clean your lenses with fresh contact lens solution.
– Replace your contact lens case at least every three months
– Remove your lenses immediately and contact your eye care provider if your eye becomes red, irritated, painful, or your vision becomes blurred.
Not everyone is a candidate for contact lens wear, but there are many options available. If contact lenses are something you’re interested in trying, contact your eye care provider for a contact lens fit.