Almost everyone who wears contact lenses has been guilty of a risky behavior concerning them at one time or another. The following behaviors may put you at risk for a serious eye infection, even if you have done them in the past with no issues.
Falling Asleep in Them
It can be time-consuming to remove and clean your lenses every time you fall asleep. But it is important to do so if you wish to avoid an infection. Your lenses act as a barrier to your cornea and when you close your eyes, a dark, warm environment is created. Your cornea gets little oxygen, which can be a breeding ground for bacteria and fungus to grow. It’s better to just take the extra couple of minutes to remove them before shut-eye.
Adding to Your Solution
You may feel as though dumping out the solution in your contact case is a waste. Why not just top it off with fresh? Well, you are diluting the disinfecting solution that is already there by doing this. Your contacts will not get cleaned as well overnight. Not only that, the older solution may cause bacteria to grow within the case itself, which then gets onto your lenses. So when you are ready to take out your lenses, rinse the case out and add fresh solution each and every time.
We have all had it happen. You rub your eye and your contact lens falls out but you don’t happen to have any solution on you. So, you run to the nearest water fountain or sink and use tap water to get it back in your eye. Unfortunately, tap water may have an amoeba in it that can cause an eye infection known as Acanthamoeba keratitis. This disease will inflame your cornea and can even lead to scarring of your eye and impaired vision. To avoid this problem, consider carrying around a small travel bottle of disinfectant solution.
Wearing Your Lenses Longer Than You Should
It doesn’t matter how long your contacts are meant to last. You should always change them when you are supposed to. According to a recent CDC report, about half of all contact lens users wear their lenses for longer than they should. This could lead to infections, irritation, and even corneal ulcers, a painful sore that develops on the eye. It may save you a few bucks to get a couple of extra days out of your contacts, but the risks to your eyes simply aren’t worth it!