Did You know?
Serious eye infections that can lead to blindness affect up to 1 out of every 500 contact lens users per year (1)
Between 40%-90% of contact lens wearers do not properly follow the care instructions for their contact lenses (2)
Keratitis—a painful eye infection often linked to improper contact lens use—leads to 1 million doctor and hospital visits annually, at a cost of $175 million to the US healthcare system (3) -- This is 1 in 14 contact lens users.
But what ARE proper care instructions for contact lenses?
For Daily Contact Lenses, the biggest one is to replace them daily. Yes, really. You'd be surprised how many people don't or won't, but this is the entire point of a Daily Lens!
Daily contact lenses are made of a thinner, more oxygen-allowing material than a monthly lens and are designed to be discarded after use, generally 8-16 hours of continuous wear time.
For Monthly Contact Lenses, the list is a bit longer:
Clean your contact case daily by rinsing out the contact lens solution (after putting your contacts into your eyes, of course)
Never re-use contact lens solution
Never mix old contact lens solution with fresh solution
Only ever store your contact lenses in approved contact lens solution, NEVER water
Replace your contact lens case every 3 months minimum (need an easy reminder? Check out our seasonal contact lens cases)
And no matter the type of contact lens you wear you should always be sure to wash your hands with soap and water and dry with a clean cloth before putting your lenses in or taking them out.
Finally, no matter the type of contact lens do NOT sleep in them. Ever. Unless your eye doctor says otherwise. The occasional accidental nap will not cause huge problems but routinely sleeping in your contacts can cause major corneal damage over time. So don't do it.
If you follow these tips you can avoid being one of the 1 in 14 contact lens users who get Keratitis this year and avoid being one of the 1 in 500 people that become at risk of blindness because of a serious eye infection.
1) Dart JK, Radford CF, Minassian D, Verma S, Stapleton F. Risk factors for microbial keratitis with contemporary contact lenses: a case-control study.external icon Ophthalmology. 2008;115(10):1647-54, 1654 e1-3.
2) Bui TH, Cavanagh HD, Robertson DM. Patient compliance during contact lens wear: perceptions, awareness, and behavior.external icon Eye Contact Lens. 2010;36(6):334-9.
3) Collier SA, Gronostaj MP, MacGurn AK, Cope JR, Awsumb KL, Yoder JS, Beach MJ. Estimated burden of keratitis — United States, 2010. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2014;63(45):1027-30.