According to our optometrist in Alexandria, over 30 million Americans wear contact lenses. Although contact lens use is generally safe, the improper care and use results in nearly one million emergency room visits annually. Read more for important safety recommendations if you or a family member wear contact lenses.
Our Alexandria optometrist knows that sleeping in contacts puts you at risk for a potentially serious eye infection. Contact lenses inhibit the cornea from receiving oxygen, but during the day when you are awake, your natural blinking provides the necessary exchange. The lack of oxygen can quickly break down fragile corneal tissue and allow an aggressive form of bacteria called pseudomonas to enter the eye, Sleeping while wearing contacts – even just one night – is one of the main causes of eye infections, which can result in vision damage or even blindness.
“Only use contact lens solution to clean your contacts each day,” cautions our Alexandria optometrist. This type of cleaning product is specially formulated to gently and thoroughly disinfect your contact lenses. Using tap or sterile water, rewetting drops, saline solution, or saliva will NOT properly remove bacteria or other contaminants from your contact lenses. (You may need to remind your teen about this important hygiene rule!)
Irritation from wearing contact lenses can sometimes cause dry eyes, blurred vision, or a feeling that there is something in your eye. If you notice any redness or discomfort, remove your contacts right away to give your eyes a rest. While most mild conditions will resolve with time, if you experience prolonged symptoms or notice any discharge from your eye, don’t wait to see our optometrist in Alexandria. We will check your eyes to make sure you don’t have an eye infection and that your contacts are properly fitted.
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The information provided in this article is not meant to be medical advice and is for educational purposes only. If you would like to learn about other topics related to eye health, feel free to contact Visual Health Doctors of Optometry at any one of our 6 convenient locations. Simply click here or call the office location nearest you.