10 things everyone should know about contact lenses

1. Visit your eye doctor every year- Not only do doctors of optometry determine whether your prescription has changed, they also check the overall health of your eyes. These include glaucoma, systemic diseases such as diabetes, peripheral vision issues, and color blindness.

2. Purchase your contact lenses from a trusted source. Contact lenses and lens-care products are considered medical devices and are therefore regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration. 3rd party vendors, either online or local, sell contact lenses without prescriptions or even ship contact lenses that are the wrong prescription or brand that the doctor originally prescribed. The incorrect contact lenses will not properly fit the eye and can cause significant damage to the eye’s function, which could lead to irreversible loss of vision.

3. Always check your contact lens prescription before wearing your contact lenses.

4. Do not panic if you “lose” a lens in your eyes. This usually happens if you rub your eyes. It is impossible for the contact lens to be lost behind your eyes due to a membrane called the conjunctiva that covers the entire eye. Try putting a few drops of saline or artificial tears into your eyes which will in turn moisten the lens and your eyes, then look off to the side to see if you locate the lens. If this happens often, you will need to revisit us at Coan Eye Care.

5. You can change your eye color – with the use of colored contact lenses

6. Contact lenses are not to be shared- It is as though you were sharing your toothbrush except you also share germs and bacteria. Additionally, the contact lenses may not be fitted on another person thereby increasing the risk for a corneal infection/ulcer.

7. Never us tap water. Only use proper disinfectants and cleaners for contact lenses. Tap water contains bacteria and other microoganisms that cause serious eye infections. A disinfecting solution should be used every night and the contact lens solution should not be topped off but replaced every day. If there is any doubt which contact lens solution should be used, call our office at Coan Eye Care.

8. Keep your lens cases clean. After putting on your contact lenses, you should rinse and air dry your case upside down and open to dry it fully. After 3 months, a new case should be used.

9. Sleeping should be avoided in contact lenses. Not all contact lenses are approved for overnight wear and even if they are, they do increase your risk of serious eye infection. If you often fall asleep in your lenses, call us at Coan Eye Care to schedule an appointment to see which contact lens solution is compatible with your lenses and the chemistry of your eyes.10. Contact lenses should not be overworn. It is important to replace your lenses are recommended by your eye care professional. Bad habits can cause permanent eye damage from bacterial infections and oxygen deprivation.

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