Contacts. We love them. We love the freedom from eyeglasses. We love the flexibility of not worrying if our glasses are messing up our outfits…. We just survived a pandemic, and who on earth wants to ever wear masks with glasses again? There are a million and one reasons why 45 million Americans love wearing contacts. But contacts can get really…. Eww.
There’s a definite gross-factor when it comes to contacts because we tend to think that since we’re the only ones wearing them, they aren’t “that” dirty. But friends – let’s be real. Contact lenses are like underwear. We need to change them frequently.
Dr. Juawana Hall of Hillcrest Vision had these tips to share:
- Don’t overwear your contact lenses! “Your eye doctor isn’t telling you to change your contacts more frequently just to get you to buy more! It’s about sanitation! Our job is to keep your eyes healthy, so no – we don’t want you to sleep in them…. We don’t want you wearing a two-week set of disposables for two months…. Just as you need fresh underwear, you need fresh contact lenses!”
- Don’t clean your contacts with water. “Saline is designed to clean and care for your contacts. Water may seem like an innocuous option, especially in a pinch, but it can actually cause a soft contact lens to change shape, swell, and do that dreaded vice-grip-stuck-to-the-eye thing that is super uncomfortable (plus, it can scratch the cornea while you’re trying to peel them off!). Besides, while we need to stay properly hydrated, most water isn’t germ-free. There are some really nasty, sight-threatening bacteria that live in water so while there are a number of reasons why contacts and water don’t mix – that’s the big one.”
- Don’t clean your contacts with your own spit! “UGH!” said Dr. Hall. “The mouth is a cesspool of bacteria, but people often don’t consider their own germs. However, according to Colgate, over 700 species of microorganisms and bacteria live in a person’s mouth. So please don’t put them in your eyes!”
- Buy your contacts from a reputable source. “Better yet, buy your contacts from your eye doctor and contribute to the ‘shop small’ movement. It’s better for the local economy, you get better customer service, and you can trust your local eye care provider is storing your contacts in a much safer environment than a massive warehouse without temperature control.”
- Don’t buy your contacts from a costume shop. “Going hand-in-hand with the ‘buy local’ advice, don’t buy contacts from a place that cannot properly fit you and where a prescription isn’t required. They may look cool with your costume, but cool can be a major pain if a poorly fitted contact lens scratches your eye and you get an infection.”
- Carry your backup glasses. “Things happen,” said Dr. Hall. “The last thing you want to have happen is to be stuck without your prescription if your contact tears, falls out, or your eyes just desperately need a break. I know, I know…. My patients wear contacts so they don’t have to deal with glasses. But it’s a good habit to have. Trouble with contacts is never expected. So prepare for the unexpected.”
- Take your contacts out before showering, swimming, or getting in the hot tub. “Eh-hem, we just talked about water.”
- Replace your case every three months. “Again, no one is trying to make you spend more money, but it’s about sanitation. You’re sticking your fingers in and out of those cases daily! So it’s a good idea to clean your contact cases daily and replace them every three months.”
Dr. Hall and her team are the local experts on everything contact lens-related! So book an appointment soon and let them get you fitted – and informed – on the best contacts for your unique needs.
Book an appointment with Hillcrest Vision! They are located at 2431 Winterhaven Lane in Winston-Salem. Call them at 336.760.2020, visit them online at HillcrestVision.com and be sure to “like” them on Facebook and follow them on Instagram.