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4 Tips for Avoiding Contact Lens-Related Eye Infections

Mar 16, 2023
4 Tips for Avoiding Contact Lens-Related Eye Infections
The last thing you want is an eye infection from your contact lenses. Fortunately, if you follow certain best practices, you can dramatically slash your risk.

There’s a learning curve with contact lenses. You have to figure out how to get them into your eyes, for starters, but you also need to learn how to care for these flimsy little lenses. 

Fortunately, it’s not overly complicated. If you follow a few rules, you should be able to keep your contacts working their best while also avoiding eye problems. Here at Edwin Y. Endo, OD & Associates in Aiea, Hawaii, our team wants to help you avoid eye infections while seeing clearly through your contact lenses

With that in mind, here are four tips we recommend. 

#1: Always wash your hands first

Before you put in or take out your contact lenses, give your hands a good scrub in hot, soapy water and rinse them well. 

If you don’t, the microbes from everything you’ve touched recently can transfer into your eye. That could include viruses and bacteria that cause keratitis, an infection that can cause eye irritation, light sensitivity, and, in extreme cases, blindness.

#2: Don’t sleep in your contact lenses

Hitting the hay with your lenses in — even if they’re approved for sleep — bumps up your risk of an eye infection by at least sixfold

No matter how tired you are, make sure you remove your contacts every night. Make it a part of your nightly routine, just like brushing your teeth. 

#3: Use fresh solution every day

It can be tempting to just “top off” the solution in your case rather than dumping and replacing it daily. Don’t. 

Use fresh solution every day to prevent yesterday’s microbes from hanging around, as the accumulation of bacteria heightens your likelihood of an eye infection. 

#4: Replace your lenses and case regularly

Similarly, swapping out your lenses on the prescribed schedule minimizes your risk of letting bacteria and viruses build up, compromising your ocular health.

It’s not just your lenses that need a swap, either. The American Optometric Association also recommends replacing the case for you contact lenses every three months. 

What to do if you think you have an eye infection

These tips should help you avoid the most common causes of a contact lens-related eye infection. Even so, things happen. 

Monitor your eyes. You might be developing an infection if you have symptoms like:

  • Pain
  • Itching
  • Redness
  • The feeling that something’s in your eye, like a foreign object or grit
  • Excess wateriness or discharge
  • Light sensitivity
  • Blurred vision

If you notice any of these signs, talk with us. We can customize a care plan to address your infection and protect your vision.

For eye care whenever you need it, call our office or book your visit online today.