Don't Sleep in Your Contact Lenses and Other Vision-Saving Tips From a Pro – University of Utah Health Care

Sep 28, 2021 10:30 AM
Author: Moran Eye Center
Whether you’re new to contact lenses or have been wearing them for a while, it’s always good to double-check your hygiene practices.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 45 million Americans choose to wear contact lenses—for plenty of good reasons.
The lenses move with your eye, giving you a natural field of view. You don’t have to deal with frames that may obstruct or distort your vision. Contact lenses don’t fog up or get splattered with rain, and they are more convenient than glasses for sports or other physical activities.
However, professionals from the CDC to your local eye doctor caution that wearing contact lenses may increase your chance of getting an eye infection if you don’t practice strict safety precautions.
Contact Lenses = Medical Devices
Like regular eyeglasses, contact lenses can correct nearsightedness or farsightedness and astigmatism,but, unlike regular glasses, they are medical devices that sit directly on your eye. “And that makes all the difference,” says John A. Moran Eye Center Director of Contact Lens Services David Meyer, OD, FAAO.
Meyer lists these basic practices—all of which are critically important:
In fact, “overwearing” contact lenses is the most common mistake people make. Whether they are daily, bi-weekly, or monthly contact lenses, people tend to wear them longer than recommended, increasing chances of bacterial infection, contact lens breakdown, and dry eye issues.
Meyer also offers a couple of little tricks to help contact lens wearers keep up with their regimens:
Schedule Yearly Eye Exams
“In addition to practicing good hygiene, contact lens wearers have to take extra care to ensure that their eyes stay healthy,” said Meyer. “That’s the reason we recommend yearly eye exams for those patients. We also recommend scheduling your next appointment in advance, so you don’t go too long between visits.”
During a yearly exam, your doctor will:
“Take care of your contact lenses, and they’ll do their job,” says Meyer. “Once you establish ‘best practices,’ it’s easy.”
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