The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in close collaboration with eye care partners, has organized Contact Lens Health Week (Aug. 22-26) as a strategy to increase public awareness and promote healthy contact lens wear and care. Increased awareness about the importance of proper contact lens hygiene can encourage contact lens wearers to adopt healthy habits that can reduce their chances of getting an eye infection.
Enjoy the comfort and benefits of contact lenses while lowering your chance of complications. Failure to wear, clean and store your lenses as directed by your eye doctor raises the risk of developing serious infections. Your habits, supplies and eye doctor are all essential to keeping your eyes healthy. Follow these tips.
The following wear and care recommendations for soft contact lenses also apply to hard, or rigid gas permeable (RGP or GP), contact lenses.
Check out some more extra tips:
• Wash your hands with soap and water. Dry them well with a clean cloth before touching your contact lenses every time.
• Don’t sleep in your contact lenses unless allowed by your eye doctor.
• Keep water away from your contact lenses. Avoid showering in contact lenses, and remove them before using a hot tub or swimming.
Your Contact Lenses
• Rub and rinse your contact lenses with contact lens disinfecting solution—never water or saliva—to clean them each time you remove them.
• Never store your contact lenses in water.
• Replace your contact lenses as often as recommended by your eye doctor.
Your Contact Lens Case
• Rub and rinse your contact lens case with contact lens solution—never water—and then empty and dry with a clean tissue. Store upside down with the caps off after each use.
• Replace your contact lens case at least once every three months.
Your Contact Lens Solution
• Don’t “top off” solution. Use only fresh contact lens disinfecting solution in your case—never mix fresh solution with old or used solution.
• Use only the contact lens solution recommended by your eye doctor.
Your Eye Doctor
• Visit your eye doctor yearly or as often as he or she recommends.
• Ask your eye doctor if you have questions about how to care for your contact lenses and case or if you are having any difficulties.
• Remove your contact lenses immediately and call your eye doctor if you have eye pain, discomfort, redness or blurred vision.
Carry a backup pair of glasses with a current prescription—just in case you have to take out your contact lenses.
The wear and care recommendations for soft contact lenses also apply to hard, or rigid gas permeable (RGP or GP), contact lenses. Here are a couple of extra tips:
• To clean hard contact lenses, rub and rinse them with contact lens cleaning or multipurpose solution—never water or saliva—each time you remove them. Rinse them well with the solution recommended by your eye doctor.
• Hard contact lenses can last much longer than soft contact lenses if cared for properly. Replace your hard contact lenses when recommended to do so by your eye doctor.
When cared for properly, contact lenses can provide a comfortable and convenient way to work, play and live for the 30 million plus people in the U.S. who wear them. While contact lenses are usually a safe and effective form of vision correction, they are not entirely risk-free—especially if they are not cared for properly. Contact lenses are medical devices, and failure to wear, clean and store them as directed can increase the risk of eye infections, such as microbial keratitis. To reap the benefits of wearing contact lenses, it is essential to practice healthy habits.
Remember: Healthy Habits = Healthy Eyes. Visit www.cdc.gov/contactlenses/index.html for more information.
—Provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)