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If You Wear Contact Lenses, Stop Doing These Things

You don't want to risk going blind.


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If You Wear Contact Lenses, Stop Doing These Things
Image: Towne and Country Eyecare
It is a fact that people who wear contact lenses are more prone to eye infection than those who don’t. But most of the time, this problem is related to the contact lens hygiene and not the brand itself.
 
Whether you wear contact lenses on a daily basis or occasionally when you want to look a bit more presentable and you just cannot deal with your glasses, you should already know some of the bad habits you tend to make with your contacts and you’re probably guilty of at least one of them.
 
Many people are aware of these mistakes but still fall into them because they tend to get away with it long enough before something bad happens.
 
This little thing may seem harmless, but it can do more harm than good if you're not careful.
One of the “bad” things we’re talking about is contracting bacterial keratitis, or cornea infection, that often affects contact lens wearers. An eye infection may sound like a common flu to you, but if you leave it untreated, it could lead to more severe complications, such as cornea scarring, tearing, or worst, blindness.
 
As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure. So, here are some of the crucial mistakes you must avoid if you do or are planning to wear contact lenses.
 

1) Rinsing your contacts with tap water

This is a dangerous mistake because cleaning your contact lenses is not the same as washing the dishes. Tap water contains various microorganisms and bacteria that can cling to your contacts and cause harm to your eyes.
 
Your tap water may be filtered but it is not sterile.
And don’t even think about using bottled mineral water! It doesn’t matter how expensive and good your home water filter system is, contact lens solution is available for a reason.
 
If you ever see the need to clean your contacts while you’re out and about during the day, simply carry with you a small bottle of solution. You can easily find different types of travel-sized solutions or eye drops in local pharmacies that won’t add much weight to your bag.
 

2) Reusing contact lens solution

Throw it out after each use to avoid storing bacteria buildup.
While we’re on the topic of contact lens solution, we understand that the cost of living in the city is hurting your wallet more and more these days. But saving up on essential items like this is not the way to go if it puts your health and wellbeing at risk.

Even if you’re a clean freak who keeps your contact lens case squeaky clean, reusing the solution to store your contacts every day is equivalent to wearing the same pair of dirty underwear. Your eyes are exposed to dust, debris, bacteria and other external factors on a daily basis. Storing all of that into the same dose of contact lens solution without cleaning it out is just asking for trouble on your eyes.
 
So, make sure you rinse your case each time after you put on your contacts and store them in a fresh batch of solution after removing. There are plenty of inexpensive brands out there so it definitely won’t hurt your wallet to invest in a good one.
 

3) Recycling contact lens case

Don’t be a creature of habit and stick to the same old case just because it has your favourite cute design. Just like reusing contact lens solution, reusing the same case for years and years could also cause more germs and bacteria to accumulate.
 
Stock up a bunch of cases and replace them once a month.
After putting on your contacts every day, always rinse out your case properly, wipe it down with tissue paper and let it air-dry. After using, replace your contact lens case regularly. It is better to do it once at least every three months, if not every month. We’re pretty sure you can find a million cute designs out there, just go crazy and stock up!
 

4) Wearing disposable contacts longer than recommended

Don't wait till it's completely destroyed before you throw away your lenses.
Stretching your contact lenses wear for a few extra days or weeks may not seem harmful even though you’re just trying to save a few bucks. But these types of contacts are called “disposable” for a good reason. Most monthly, weekly or daily contacts are made with material that is not meant for continuous wear.
 
Old lenses get contaminated with a buildup of germs, protein, solutions and other residues. So, no matter how strong and healthy you think your eyes are, don’t prolong the use of your contacts and throw them out when it is due.
 

5) Sleeping in contacts 

We hear about people who do this quite frequently because sometimes, you’re so exhausted after a long day that you just need to crash in your bed ASAP. Or sometimes, you just forget.
 
Not even a short nap with the little guys on, people.
But going to sleep while you still have your contacts on is a big no-no! Our eyes don’t blink or have regular tear circulation when we sleep, so the lenses could dry out and get stuck to your eyes. Did you not hear about the woman who had 27 contact lenses stuck in her eye? It’s pretty horrifying.
 
In all seriousness, we must reiterate that you must always remove your contacts before you sleep. Leaving your contacts on overnight will put you at higher risk of getting eye infection that can lead to blindness.
 
Wearing glasses for a day won't hurt your reputation.
If you ever fall asleep with your contact lenses still on, remove them as soon as you wake up only when it is moist or put a few drops of solution. Don’t try to yank them out of your eyes if they are still dry and stuck on your eyes because you might end up tearing a layer of your cornea. And try not to wear them again the next day.

Honestly, wearing your glasses out for just one day won’t hurt.
 

6) Swimming with contacts

When you go for a swim, either at the pool or in the sea, you definitely want to be able to see things clearly, especially if you’re one with the ocean who loves to go free diving at every opportunity you get.
 
At least wear a pair of goggles when you go swimming.
But for those of us who are not blessed with perfect vision, it is painful to swim around with blurry vision. If you choose to expose your naked eyes underwater while wearing contact lenses, this can be very risky because, well, we all know how “clean” the swimming pool or ocean is. You wouldn’t want any of those “bad stuff” getting in your contact lenses that you will end up reusing every day.  
 
Do without your contacts underwater, or if you’re practically blind without glasses or contacts, get a good pair of goggles.
 

7) Washing face with contacts on

Facial cleanser is not the same as your contact lens solution. This may seem harmless to you and you’re probably thinking why this is a bad thing because you will be keeping your eyes closed anyway when you wash your face. But the order in which you wash your face and handle your contact lenses could actually affect the health of your eyes.
 
Always wash your face before putting on your contacts because you wouldn’t want to get any hint of soap or chemical on it. At the end of the day, it is recommended to remove your lenses before washing off your makeup, again, to prevent leaving traces of makeup on your contact lenses.
 
Sight is a human being’s most important sense. So, before things get worse, make sure you follow the simple rules mentioned above when it comes to contact lens care and invest in a good brand.
 
There are many contact lens brands out there that are designed to fit your lifestyle and one of them is the Air Optix HydraGlyde by Alcon.
 
The all new Air Optix now comes with a fresh new look.
The Air Optix HydraGlyde comes with new and improved technology that is designed for the comfort of contact lens wearers, including:
  • Smartshield technology that helps guard against deposit buildup from protein and lipids (natural substances found in tears), as well as residue from hand creams, makeup and makeup remover.
  • HydraGlyde moisture matrix that attracts and retains moisture on the lenses throughout the day, giving you extra hours of comfort.
 

Besides the HydraGlyde, Air Optix also comes with a range of different contact lenses that suits different vision needs, such as:
  • Air Optix Colors: Perfect for those who want different coloured eyes every day, these breathable colour lenses comes with a unique 3-in-1 colour technology for a more natural and beautiful eye colour. It also contains six times more oxygen than the regular coloured contacts
  • Air Optix Night and Day Aqua: Now, this goes against one of our rules, but this particular range is for people who nap or sleep in lenses. In fact, it has the highest breathability for up to 30 nights of continuous wear! This may sound risky, but it is proven among eye care professionals as well.
  • Air Optix Astigmatism: This set gives clear, comfortable and consistent vision for people with astigmatism because it is specifically designed to keep your contacts in place and prevent blurriness.
  • Air Optix Aqua Multifocal: Best for people who suffer from presbyopia (loss of the eye’s ability to focus on close objects). With this range, you will get to enjoy clear vision at all distances, near and far.
You can learn more about Alcon’s Air Optix family of contact lenses by visiting www.airoptix.com or Alcon Malaysia’s Facebook page.

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