From time to time, frightening stories appear in the news about people who have developed serious eye infections and even sight-loss through contact lens wear. Reassuringly, the risk of serious infection is VERY low as long as lenses are fitted and looked after properly. Here are a few tips on how to stay safe and wear lenses successfully:
1. Contact lenses offer a warm, moist environment for nasties to grow. Always clean using your recommended disinfecting solution NOT just saline and NEVER tap water.
2. Always rub & rinse clean contact lenses as recommended by your optician, to shift surface deposits & allow solution to work properly.
3. Read solution manufacturers leaflets carefully: they differ in disinfection times & procedures. Stick with the solution your optician advises.
4. Replace your lens case very regularly, dirty cases are one of the most common reasons for severe eye infections. Always allow your contact lens case to air-dry if you are discarding solution, don’t leave the lids on an empty case.
5. Avoid sources of infection. NEVER use tap water on lenses or cases. Never touch your lenses or your eye without WASHING and DRYING your hands. Avoid swimming, showering & hot tubs in lenses and do not wear if feeling unwell (even a cold!) or visiting sick people.
6. NEVER share lenses or wear lenses that haven’t been fitted by a trained eye care professional. Poor fitting = eye damage.
7. Your Optician checks your contact lenses so they can spot problems early. Selling CLs without professional supervision is illegal in the UK, DO NOT buy from the internet or high street without having a professional fitting.
8. NEVER wear lenses if you have a red, sore or blurry eye. Anything unusual, remove the lens & seek professional advice straight away.
9. Never sleep in your lenses unless your optician has specifically advised you it’s ok. Closed eye = higher infection risk.
10. Breathable Silicone Hydrogel contact lenses are highly recommended if you wear lenses most of the time and want to keep your eyes oxygenated and healthy. Daily disposables or RGPs have the lowest risk of all if you’re still worried, but always keep to the recommended wearing times and replacement schedules. Lenses go through a strict licensing procedure, so dailies really are only suitable for a day!
Look after your lenses properly & enjoy wearing them! If you have any concerns or queries contact us.