Contact lenses can be liberating. You don’t have to deal with the discomfort of eyeglasses resting on your face and ears, your peripheral view is generally better, and, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), they can even improve the progression of nearsightedness in children and teenagers.
However, despite their benefits, if you don’t care for and wear them properly, they may cause eye infections that can lead to long-term damage, according to the CDC. The good news is, though, that with good habits, you can most likely avoid infections.
Here are some tips to ensure healthy use of your contact lenses:
- Be sure to wash your hands with soap and water before handling.
- Rub then rinse them with disinfecting contact lens solution.
- Don’t “top off” old solution in your case or re-use solution.
- Don’t sleep, shower, or swim with your lenses on.
- Don’t wear your contact lenses longer than your eye doctor instructed.
If you’re interested in wearing cosmetic contacts, know that, similar to vision-correcting lenses, they must be prescribed by a licensed optometrist or ophthalmologist. Find out more about cosmetic contact sales in the Board of Optometry’s Cosmetic Contacts: Change the Look of Your Eyes Safely and Legally publication.
Regularly check the health of your eyes by visiting your eye doctor. To verify the license of your optometrist, visit the Board of Optometry’s website at www.optometry.ca.gov.