Contact lenses may be one of the easiest ways to improve your vision, but they also significantly increase your risk of eye infections. Eye infections develop whenever harmful microorganisms, like fungi, bacteria, and viruses, enter any part of your eye or surrounding areas.
The most common symptoms of an eye infection include:
If you think you have an eye infection, it’s important to contact Valley Eye Professionals immediately to avoid long-term complications. Dr. Barry Wagner and Dr. Narbae Avedian also have numerous recommendations to help reduce your risk of contact-related infections.
The most important step you can take in preventing eye infections is properly washing your hands with soap before handling your contact lenses and touching your eyes.
Your hands are exposed to numerous germs throughout the day, through contact with door handles, keyboards, and countertops. When you skip washing your hands before handling your contact lenses, you introduce these tiny organisms directly into your eye, increasing your chances of developing nasty infections that can damage your vision.
Rinsing your contacts with tap water or homemade saline solution can introduce parasites and other harmful microorganisms to your eye. Each time you remove your lenses, rinse them with fresh contact solution. Make sure you’re using a recommended product that is compatible with your lenses.
You should also use store-bought solution to rinse your contacts case each day to avoid additional exposure to tap water contaminants. Before storing your contacts, fill your clean, dry contacts case with fresh solution. Reusing or topping off old solution in your case causes the fluid to lose its ability to kill organisms and become ineffective at disinfecting your contact lenses.
Even no-rub contacts benefit from this step to reduce buildup. After removing your contacts, give them a gentle five-second rub to remove any protein or bacteria deposits that may be sticking to your lenses.
To avoid rubbing, rinsing, and disinfecting all together, ask Dr. Wagner or Dr. Avedian about daily-wear contacts. These one-day, disposable options can eliminate several risks associated with contact-related eye infections.
It may seem like a good idea to squeeze a few more days out of your contacts, but replacing your lenses as directed can help you avoid irritated and infected eyes. Wearing your contacts for longer than the recommended period allows more bacteria to build up, which increases your risk of contact-related eye infections.
In addition to changing your contact lenses regularly, you should also replace your contact lens case at least three times each year.
For more information on reducing your risk of contact-related eye infection or to explore contact lens options to enhance your vision, call Valley Eye Professionals or request an appointment online today.