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For those who wear glasses, contact lenses can be a huge game-changer. Contacts can allow you to see the world without a set of frames, and you can finally say goodbye to “four-eyes” jokes from friends, family members, and coworkers.

However, whether you’re new to wearing contacts or have been wearing them for years, you should learn how to wear them safely as well as how to minimize your chances for infection or injury. After all, wearing contacts means you may be touching your eyes more frequently at morning and night.

If you think touching your face with dirty hands is bad news, you may have difficulty believing what can happen if you practice poor hygiene with your contact lenses. If you fail to take the necessary precautions, you could potentially be exposing your eyes to bacteria that causes conjunctivitis (pink eye), or you could end up scratching your cornea. Instead, follow these tips to enjoy a more worry-free, healthy experience with your contacts.

LIMIT YOUR WEARING TIME

If you’re new to wearing contacts, limit the amount of time you spend wearing them. Pay attention to how long your contacts are supposed to be worn, including both the length of time you wear them in one use, and the amount of time you can keep them before replacing.

If you wear contacts for too long at one stretch, you could be depriving your eyes of oxygen, which can lead to redness, irritation, and infection. Always pay attention to how long you’ve been wearing your contacts, and take them out every night before you go to sleep.

If you’re thinking about stretching the mileage on your contacts, talk to your ophthalmologist first. Your eye doctor can help you learn more about bacteria and protein buildup, and how these factors can contribute to worsened eye health.

CHECK FOR DAMAGES TO LENSES BEFORE WEARING

Whether your contact lenses are brand new, or you’ve been wearing them for some time, check your contacts for signs of damage or dirt before putting them in. If you notice any dirt on the lenses, clean them using saline solution. If you notice a scratch on the lenses, you may need to have them replaced immediately.

DON’T FORGET PROTECTIVE EYEWEAR

If you previously wore glasses, you may not have taken eye protection into consideration when engaging in activities such as mixing chemicals, chopping wood, or working with power tools. However, if you wear contact lenses, you must get in the habit of wearing eye protection whenever you do any activities that could damage your eyes.

Finally, visit your ophthalmologist regularly, follow all their recommendations, and take prescriptions as directed. For example, if your eye doctor doesn’t recommend that you wear contacts for more than five hours at a time, adhere to their instructions to avoid impairing your vision.

Do you wear glasses or contact lenses for problems with vision impairment? Call Silverstein Eye Centers today to make an appointment for an eye exam.

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