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Safety Tips for People Who Wear Contact Lenses

Make sure to:

  • Get regular eye exams to assure the continued health of your eyes.
  • Always have a back-up pair of glasses with a current prescription in case you have problems with your contact lenses.
  • Always follow the directions of your eye care professional and all labeling instruction for proper use of contact lenses and lens care products.
  • Always wash your hands before handling contact lenses. This will reduce your risk of getting an infection.
  • Clean, rinse and air-dry your lens case each time lenses are removed. Contact lens cases can be a source of bacterial growth.
  • Remove the lenses immediately and consult your eye care professional if your eyes become red, irritated, or your vision changes.
  • Ask your eye care professional about wearing glasses or contact lenses during sports activities to minimize your chance of injury.
  • Always ask your eye care professional before using any medicine or using topical eye products, even those you buy without a prescription. Some medicines may affect your vision or irritate your eyes.
  • Apply cosmetics after inserting lenses and remove your lenses before removing makeup.
  • Apply any aerosol products (hairspray, cologne, and deodorant) before inserting lenses.
  • Always inform your employer if you wear contact lenses. Some jobs may require the use of eye protection equipment or may require that you not wear lenses.
  • Follow and save the directions that come with your lenses. If you didn’t get a patient information booklet, request one from your eye care professional or look for one on the manufacturer’s website.
  • Replace contacts as recommended by your eye care professional. Throw away disposable lenses after recommended wearing period.

Do Not:

  • Sleep in daily wear lenses because it may increase your chance of infection or irritation.
  • Purchase contact lenses from gas stations, video stores, record shops, or any other vendor not authorized by law to dispense contact lenses. Contact lenses are medical devices that require a prescription.
  • Swap contact lens with another person. Swapping provides a way to transfer germs between people. Contact lenses are individually fitted. Incorrectly fitted lenses may cause permanent eye injury, infection and may potentially lead to blindness.
  • Smoke. Studies show that smokers who wear contact lenses have a higher rate of problems than nonsmokers.
  • Swim while wearing contact lenses. There is a risk of eye infection from bacteria in swimming pool water.
  • Put your lenses in your mouth to wet them. Saliva is not a sterile solution.
  • Use tap water, distilled water or any homemade saline solution. Tap and distilled water have been associated with Acanthamoeba keratitis, a corneal infection that is resistant to treatment and cure.
  • Rely on contact lenses to protect your eyes from the sun.
  • Make sure to use sunglasses that block ultraviolet light.

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