Sleeping with Contact Lenses
Without blood vessels, your cornea uses oxygen from the atmosphere to remain healthy. It does this because without oxygen, the cornea can develop scars, become less transparent, and even warp. When sleeping we close our eyes and restrict our cornea of the oxygen it needs to survive. If you sleep with your contacts in, it further strains the cornea and leads to corneal ulcers. This condition can cause acute vision loss or the need for a corneal transplant. Don’t worry if you forget to take your contacts out once in a blue moon, but making a habit of it will be consequential.
Swimming with Contact Lenses
Contact lenses should never be exposed to water, consequentially swimming while wearing contacts can be especially risky. The water your contacts absorb is sometimes contaminated with bacteria and viruses which get trapped against your eye. These harmful pathogens may lead to several issues including dry eye syndrome, corneal abrasions, and uveitis. If you cannot swim safely without your contacts, don’t worry. Wearing goggles, wearing daily contact lenses and throwing them out after swimming, and using eye drops before and after swimming are all precautions that can be taken to ensure you don’t run into medical complications.
Wearing Expired Contact Lenses
If you didn’t know that contact lenses can expire, you do now. Check your contact lens box, displayed will be a list of relevant criteria specific to your lenses. These include cylinder, power, diameter, base curve, type of contact, and of course, expiration date. When contacts go beyond their expiration date, the solution preventing your contacts from deteriorating and dehydrating is no longer at optimal pH levels. Once that expiration date is reached, the solution is at risk of becoming soiled with bacterial, amoebae pathogens, and fungal. This can increase your chances of infections, discomfort, and in extreme cases irreversible vision loss.
Purchasing Colored Contacts From an Unlicensed Vendor
Have you ever seen color contacts at a party store or costume shop? Well, chances are those contacts have not been regulated by the FDA and are therefore very dangerous to wear. Contacts dispensed by an unlicensed vendor may not be the correct size, this leads to corneal abrasions that can become infected. Furthermore, color contacts have extra pigments that make it difficult for your eyes to absorb oxygen. Similar to when sleeping with contacts, the lack of exposure your eyes have to oxygen poses a serious threat to your vision. By all means wear color contacts, just make sure you go to an optometrist to buy them.
It is vital to your optical well being that your hands have been properly washed before inserting or removing your contacts. Microbes from surfaces like your phone screen, keyboards, door handles, and countertops can transfer from your fingers to your eyes leaving you vulnerable to irritation, inflammation, and more serious medical ailments. Wash your hands often, but always wash your hands before putting in contacts.
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