30. September 2009 14:55
Firstly - It's very important that you replace your contact lenses according your eye care professionals instructions and or the instructions from the manufacturer. Don't try to wear your daily contact lenses for more than a day or your monthly contact lenses for more than a month!
If you are wear monthly or weekly lenses and are unable to remember when you first started using a particular pair of contact lenses then the usual indications that a contact lens is near the end of its life are deposits on the lens, lens discolouration, hazy or unclear vision and or discomfort. If any of these indications occur your should change your contact lenses immediately as any of these can lead to other complications such as infection.
If after changing your contact lens your vision is still hazy or you notice any redness or discomfort you should remove your contact lenses and contact your eye care professional immediately. Always better to treat problems early especially when it comes to keeping your eyes safe and healthy.
29. September 2009 22:19
With the state of the art of contact lenses as it is today, most people find contact lens wear is completely safe and trouble free.
However there is always a slight chance of infection when using contact lenses when compared with not wearing contact lenses. Particularly sleeping with your lenses in is riskier than taking them out each night, although extended wear contact lenses made of the new highly gas permeable silicone hydrogel materials do have a lower risk than standard extended wear contact lenses. Studies show that daily contact lenses that are replaced on a daily basis carry the lowest risk of infection as they are discarded so frequently. It’s worth noting however - Never reuse daily contact lenses as they are unsuitable for repeat use and don’t lend themselves to normal cleaning methods.
If you use 2 weekly disposable contact lenses, monthly contact lenses or extended wear contact lenses its worth keeping in mind the following if you wish to avoid problems :
Most eye infections are caused by contact lens wearers not caring for their lenses properly.
It is essential to clean and disinfect your contact lenses after you have removed them from your eyes and before you put them back in their storage case. This helps prevent proteins and nasties building up on the lens. Cleaning and disinfection simply involves soaking your lenses with contact lens cleaning solution in their storage case for a specific amount of time. Your eye care professional may also recommend a particular cleaning regime depending on the contact lens type and brand you are using. Never top up or reuse contact lens cleaning solution that is inside the contact lens case, it should be replaced with fresh cleaning solution every time the contact lenses are stored. Lastly only use the contact lens cleaning solution recommended by your eye care professional as not all will suit your particular prescription or brand of contact lens.
Coming in a close second as a leading source of eye infections for contact lens wearers are contact lens cases, either not being cleaned properly or changed on a monthly basis - yes you should be using a new one each month!
Rinse your storage case in contact lens cleaning solution then leave it to dry out completely every day ensuring that it is open at the time. Clean your contact lens storage case with a clean toothbrush (one that you have never actually used on your teeth!) and contact lens cleaning solution on a weekly basis. Remember to replace the entire case monthly even if it still looks good. A storage case is not the sort of thing to develop a sentimental attachment to. Dirty contact lens storage cases are a major source of eye infections.
Common situations to avoid:
- Never use saliva to wet your contact lenses – your mouth is full of bacteria you really don’t want in your eyes.
- Never let tap water come in contact with your contact lenses – there is chlorine in tap water that will do them no good at all.
- Never wear your contact lenses while swimming or showering – again you are best to avoid chlorine getting in your eyes.
- Never go to sleep with a painful red eye - seek medical advice immediately as infections can develop rapidly.
- Lastly a little reminder of the checklists your eye care professional probably already gave you when you first started wearing contact lenses
Every day ask yourself:
- Can I see properly?
- Do my eyes look good?
- Do my eyes feel good?
If you answer “no” to any of the above or you have any concerns at all, take out you contact lenses immediately and go and see your eye care professional.