Only 2 percent of contact lens wearers actually follow the rules when it comes to keeping their eyes clean, while more than 80 percent of people think they do, according to a new study published in the journal Optometry and Vision Science.
Problems resulting from improper care include pink eye, corneal ulcers, and E. coli infections that can rob victims of their visionÃ¢â‚¬”or even their eyes.
"We see patients all the time with pseudomonas ulcers, gray green pus, they go blind," study researcher Dwight Cavanagh, a clinical professor of ophthalmology at UT Southwestern Medical Center, told National Public Radio. "We see amoeba infections from people showering in their contacts, going swimming in lakes. These infections are horrible."
Yikes! DonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t let an infection like that happen to you. Follow these rules to keep your peepers squeaky clean:
- Avoid getting your lenses wet (swimming, showering)
- Don't sleep in your lenses (unless they are meant for it)
- Always use soap and water to wash your hands and dry your hands with a lint-free towel before handling lenses
- Never wet your lenses with your saliva
- DonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t use saline solution to disinfect your lenses (it wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t work!)
- Discard your old lenses and start a new pair when you are supposed to (based on the schedule given to you by your eye care professional)
- When cleaning your lenses, rub your lenses with your fingers and then rinse them with the solution (even if you have "no-rub" solution)
- Rinse your contact lens case with solution, not water. Allow the case to air-dry