on Thursday, November 15, 2012
How often do you replace your contact lenses? Your replacement schedule is the length of time your contact lenses can be worn before they need to be replaced with new lenses. Do you know what replacement schedule your eye doctor recommended for you? Typically an eye doctor prescribes a specific contact lens replacement schedule based on lifestyle and vision correction needs. As we have written about in a previous post, there are different replacement schedule options that you can discuss with your eye doctor.
However, no matter that your replacement schedule is, it is important for you to be consistent about replacing your contact lenses. Some of the benefits of being compliant with your replacement schedule include:
- Comfort: Compliance with a replacement schedule, regardless of modality, is associated with better comfort and vision at the end of the day and at the end of the wear cycle. When you replace your contact lens according to its replacement schedule, you are less likely to encounter discomfort due to build up from lipids, proteins, and microorganisms.
- Lowers Infection Risks: Poor contact lens hygiene, including not being compliant about contact lens replacement may contribute to infections such as microbial keratitis
- Better Vision: If a patient sticks to a regular contact lens replacement schedule, there is less likelihood of contact lens build up which can affect visual acuity.
No matter what your replacement schedule is, always follow it to keep your eyes healthy, unless otherwise directed by your eye care practitioner.
on Monday, July 23, 2012
Patients who are interested in contact lenses will be happy to hear that with proper contact lens care and following a contact lens replacement schedule, contact lenses are a very healthy and popular option for correcting vision with little risk of complications. Here is a list of contact lens safety tips that you can go over with your eye doctor when you go for your next eye appointment.
Follow Your Replacement Schedule: Your eye doctor will recommend a contact replacement schedule based on what contact lenses you wear. Make sure that you replace your contact lenses when it is indicated on the schedule. If you don’t, then you can put yourself at risk for issues ranging from lid inflammation to loss of vision from an infection. Since contact lenses are a regulated medical device, the United States Food and Drug Administration(FDA) has strongly advised that it is important to follow the recommended lens wearing and replacement schedules prescribed by your eye doctor.
Wash Hands Before Handling Lenses: Washing your hands with soap and drying your hands before handling your contact lenses will prevent the transfer of germs from hands to lenses during the insertion and removal process, which can help prevent the possibility of infection. Also, make sure to avoid using lotions, oils, or hand creams on your hands before handling your contact lenses so that they don’t coat, soil, or contaminate the lens surface.
Call Your Eye Doctor If You Experience Any Symptoms: If you experience symptoms such as discomfort, excess tearing or other discharge, unusual sensitivity to light, itching, burning, gritty feelings, unusual redness, blurred vision, swelling, and pain. You should remove your lenses immediately and keep them off, and contact your eye care doctor right away. Delaying a visit to your eye doctor can put you at a higher risk of vision loss if your eye is infected.
on Monday, July 16, 2012
Acanthamoeba keratitis is a serious infection of the cornea that is caused by certain strains of a particular type of amoeba called acanthamoeba. Acanthamoeba are single cell organisms commonly found in soil, water (swimming pools, hot tubs, showers, etc.) and the air.
Here are some tips that may decrease the risk of developing acanthamoeba keratitis for contact lens wearers.
- Don’t use tap water when cleaning or rinsing your contact lenses or case
- Don’t ‘top off’ or reuse disinfection solution
- Don’t wear contact lenses in a hot tub, swimming pool, freshwater lakes and rivers, or the shower.
- Wash your hands and dry with a lint free towel prior to inserting or removing your contact lenses
- ALWAYS replace your lenses according to the schedule given to you by your doctor.
- FREQUENTLY replace your contact lens case (at a minimum, cases should be replaced whenever a new bottle of disinfecting solution is opened)
Some symptoms of Acanthamoeba keratitis are:
- Pain – often more pain than would be expected by how the eye looks
- Sensitivity to light
- Decreased vision
- No improvement or symptoms getting worse if already being treated for a corneal infection (as it is difficult to identify acanthamoeba keratitis in its early stages, it is frequently mistaken for and treated as bacterial keratitis)
- Should any of the above symptoms be present, stop wearing your contact lenses and see your eye doctor as soon as possible.
Remember, that by following your doctor’s instructions and properly handling your contact lenses, the risks of acanthamoeba keratitis will be minimal and you can enjoy wearing your contact lenses.
on Wednesday, February 29, 2012
It may be hard to remember everything you need to know about caring for your contact lenses. While an eye care professional is the best resource when it comes to contact lens care, here are some basic tips :
- Make sure that you wash your hands with a mild soap and dry them with a lint-free towel before touching your contacts.
- In order to prevent lens mix ups, insert or remove your contacts in the same order (left then right or vice versa).
- Clean, rinse, and disinfect your contact lenses following the instructions given to you by your eye care practitioner each time you remove them.
- Keep all solution bottles closed when not in use to prevent possible contamination.
- Make sure that you clean your contact lens case daily.
- Every three months, make sure that you replace your contact lens case.
- Before you go swimming, remove contact lenses.
Some things to avoid doing with your contact lenses are :
- Don’t spit on your lenses to clean them.
- Don’t use tap water, bottled water, or salt water made at home to store or clean your lenses. Using them can cause infections.
- Don’t mix different cleaners or drops.
- Don’t allow lotions, creams, or sprays touch your lenses.
- Avoid using eyeliner on the inside of your lower eyelid.
- Avoid wearing your lenses when you are using cleaning products.
- Never wear daily-wear lenses when you sleep (napping counts as sleep).
- Avoid wearing your contact lenses longer than your eye care practitioner advises you to.
If you want to learn more about caring for your contact lenses, check out this
video on our YouTube channel