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Care Tips for Contacts

Protect your eyes by caring for your contacts the right way.

Here are some helpful tips for contact lens wearers.

An estimated 45 million Americans wear contact lenses. They’re especially popular here in East Tennessee due to the abundance of outdoor activities our beautiful area provides, whereas glasses may be considered more of a hinderance for certain activities. But no matter how popular they are, nearly half of all people who regularly wear contacts do not care for them properly.

It’s that improper care that can potentially lead to big problems for your eyes. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that serious eye infections brought on by improper care of contact lenses can lead to blindness in one out of every 500 contact lens users each year. That equates to about 90,000 people at serious risk.

But by following the simple steps recommended by your Knoxville eye care professionals as well as contact lens manufacturers, you can optimize your vision and wear your contacts worry-free. Here are a few helpful tips to make sure you get the best out of your contacts:

  • Thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water and dry with a lint-free towel before handling your contacts.
  • Always clean and disinfect your lenses before putting them back in your eyes by rinsing them with special contact lens solution, never tap water.
  • Never use a homemade saline solution.
  • Use new solution each time you clean your contact lenses. Never reuse old solution.
  • Make sure the tip of the contact solution bottle doesn’t touch any surface, and keep the cap tightly closed when not in use.
  • After cleaning your lenses, leave the empty case open so it can air dry before next use. Replace the case at least once every three months or right away if it becomes damaged in any way.
  • Don’t ever put contacts in your mouth to wet them because saliva is not sterile.
  • Don’t shower, swim, or use a hot tub while wearing your contacts. Always remember – water and contacts DO NOT mix!
  • Don’t sleep in your contacts. People who sleep in their contacts are eight times more likely to develop eye infections.
  • Never wear contact lenses that have been stored for 30 days or longer without being re-disinfected.
  • Always carry a pair of your prescription glasses with you in case you need to take your contacts out for any reason.
  • Over time, contact lenses can warp and your cornea can change shape. That’s why it’s important to keep your yearly eye appointments so your doctor can make sure your lenses fit properly.
  • Always follow any directions from your doctor and the contact lens manufacturer.

In order to safely wear contacts, you must be vigilant and committed to caring for them properly and replacing them when the time is right. For more information about caring for your contacts, give your neighborhood EyeCare Optical a call today at (865) 584-0905.

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