Mistake 1: Not changing your contact solution
At the end of the day, you take your contacts off and store them in their case. Tell the truth: do you replace the solution or do you simply recycle the solution that’s already there? Using solution is key to disinfecting your contacts to remove bacteria and other environmental germs that get into the eye. In an effort to save money, you’ll reuse contact lens solution night after night not realizing you’re putting your eyes at risk. A good analogy would be washing your dishes in dirty water expecting them to be clean. Essentially, the contact lens solution becomes infected so you’re not cleaning or disinfecting at all. This leaves you with a much higher risk of infection. Your eyes are generally not too happy if their lenses have not been cleaned properly. Wash your contact lens case as least once a week, too. Some patients simply throw the case in the dishwasher to get the job done. And don’t think of rinsing your contacts in water either. Tap water could have chlorine and other micro-organisms. Ultimately, it can actually cause the shape of the contact lens to change.
Mistake 2: Wearing your contacts for too long
Your eyes need oxygen and it’s your job to give them a break. When you’re wearing contacts, the amount of oxygen that gets to your cornea is limited. While some lenses are designed for overnight wear, some experts still recommend against wearing them to sleep. The eye is the only tissue on the body that gets oxygen from the air and not through blood supply. You don’t want to wear lenses from when you get up to when you go to bed because the eye is not getting enough natural oxygen. In response, excess blood vessels can form in an attempt to supply oxygen and nutrients, and in the long run, they can obscure vision. Stick to wearing your contacts for about 12 to 16 hours at most, and take them off at night to give your eyes a break. If you wear them throughout the week, give your eyes a rest day on the weekend, too. Your eyes get rundown with over wear and their immunity takes a hit, making you more susceptible to eye infections, bacteria on the skin and tears
Mistake 3: You wear your disposable contacts longer than the recommended time
Your cleansing regimen is critical, especially if you’re wearing lenses meant for month-long use. Hang on to your lenses for longer than you should and you increase your risk of exposing your eyes to dirt and protein deposits that build up. With wear and tear, your contacts could also hang on to chemicals and preservatives from your contact solution. These issues can lead to irritation. You increase your risk of problems exponentially.
Lenses are made with plastic and water. If your lenses are meant for temporary wear, they’re thin, and can lose their shape and comfort. They’re like sponges and a bio-film builds on the surface of the lens no matter how clean you keep them. This is a breeding ground for germs. If you’re bad with replacing lenses, switch to dailies. People have 50 per cent fewer infections from using daily disposable lenses because they’re placing a pristine, new lens in their eye each day.
Mistake 4: Wearing contacts in pools, in hot tubs or while showering
Bacteria, parasites and other organisms tend to lurk in hot tubs or swimming pools. Chan says he’s seen infections in patients after wearing their contacts after water-related activities. It’s not particularly common, but in this situation, what ends up happening is the contact lens – in addition to being on the eye – is like a big sponge, and it allows organisms to sit on the eye and flourish. For another person not wearing contacts, there would be nothing for the germs to grab hold of. If you need to wear contact lenses in water, throw them away when you’re done swimming.
Mistake 5: Keeping contacts on when eyes are visibly irritated
If you place the lens onto your eye, and you feel pain or discomfort, take them off right away. Sometimes, small cracks can be seen along the contact’s edge. In other cases, a tear can form in the middle of the lens that’s less obvious. If it’s dirt or sediment, your contact can be rinsed, but if you leave your contacts on with this tear or dirt, you could be scratching your eye. During allergy season, those with severe allergies might even consider taking a break from contacts. The pollen, dander and other allergens can stick to your lenses.