According to the CDC, over 30 million patients in the US wear contact lenses.
And more than over 40% of them do not follow proper contact lens maintenance. A lot of our patients wear contact lenses and often ask us what constitutes good contact lens hygiene. Dirty contact lenses can cause pink eye or even a corneal ulcer, which is serious and cause permanent vision loss if untreated. However, with a little knowledge, contact lenses are actually quite easy to maintain and you can take these easy steps outlined below to prevent any eye irritation and infections.
1. Always wash your hands.
Our hands are constantly in contact with our phones, keyboards, door knobs, food, and so much more. Removing all the bacteria and viruses by washing your hands with soap and water will prevent these critters from getting into the contact lenses, and ultimately, into your eye.
2. Clean your contact lens case.
The contact lens case stores your contact lenses safely so they do not dry out. However, they can be a nasty incubator of bacteria if not properly handled. We recommend that you pour fresh contact lens solution into the cases to rinse them and leave them on a tissue or paper towel to dry during the day when the lens case is empty. Be sure to also replace your contact lens case about every 3 months.
3. Use FRESH contact lens solution every time.
The old contact lens solution may be contaminated with bacteria from the day before. It is essential to use new solution every time to avoid bacterial infections such as a rare but terrible infection known as Acanthamoeba keratitis, which may cause severe eye pain, corneal ulceration, and even permanent visual impairment or blindness.
If you have any questions about your contact lenses, always feel free to ask our optometrists, Dr. Anh Tran and Dr. Reshma Shah. They can provide you with more information and tips on how to take care of your contact lenses and cases. If you are interested in trying out a new contact solution or lens case, we have trial bottles from popular brands like BioTrue by Bausch + Lomb®, Opti-Free by Alcon®, and CLEAR CARE®.