Contact lenses have been around for decades, and millions of people worldwide wear contact lenses. However, many still encounter problems when wearing contact lenses. Some problems, like dry eyes, are minor, and others, like eye infections, tend to become more serious, especially if left untreated.
Most contact lens-related problems can be easily solved with just a little time and effort. But don’t fret if you’re unsure of what to do. Here at Lens.com, we want to educate you about the most common contact lens problems and how you can prevent them.
The problem: eye infections
The fix: More than 45 million Americans wear contact lenses, and contact lens-related eye infections are common. Serious eye infections affect approximately 1 in 500 contact lens wearers, and these infections are primarily the result of improper contact lens care and cleaning. According to a study, at least 40% of contact lens wearers do not follow proper safety protocols when wearing and caring for their contact lenses.
As long as you care for them properly, contact lenses are safe and effective devices for vision correction. You should always practice strict safety protocols when wearing, caring for, and storing your contact lenses.
You can avoid eye infections by following basic safety measures, such as:
- Always wash your hands with water and mild soap before handling your contact lenses.
- Never sleep in contact lenses that are not FDA-approved for extended or overnight wear.
- Never wear contact lenses for longer than their replacement schedule. For example, you shouldn’t wear daily disposable contact lenses for more than one day.
- Never wash your contact lenses with tap water. Tap water contains contaminants that can stick to your contact lenses and potentially irritate your eyes.
- When cleaning your contact lenses, only use the contact lens solution that your eye care professional (ECP) prescribed to you.
- Rub your contact lenses when cleaning them with a contact lens solution. Previous studies have shown that rubbing contact lenses is significantly more effective at eliminating bacteria and removing protein deposits.
- Contact lenses can only be stored for 30 days in solution. Dispose of your contact lenses if they’ve been stored for longer than 30 days.
The problem: Blurry vision
The fix: When it comes to blurry vision while wearing contact lenses, the solution will depend on the root cause. Here are the main reasons why you may experience blurry vision from wearing contact lenses and how you can prevent it from happening in the future:
- Incorrect prescription
Your vision changes as you age, especially when you reach 40. If you experience blurry vision while wearing contact lenses, it could be that your prescription is no longer suitable for your current visual acuity. The only “remedy” for this is to visit your ECP so that they can give you an eye exam and update your prescription.
- Dry contact lenses
Contact lenses that are dried out tend to attract bacteria and deposits, leading to blurry vision. You can quickly solve the problem by applying contact lens rewetting drops. Just tilt your head back, pull the lower eyelid of one eye, hold the tip of the dropper over your eye, look up, and apply one or two drops. Repeat the same process for your other eye.
- Dry eyes
Insufficient tear production causes dry eyes, which can lead to blurry vision with or without contact lenses. Consult your ECP for a suitable brand of artificial tears or lubricant eye drops. There are many brands of artificial tears available, but generally speaking, those that don’t contain any preservatives are suitable for anyone. You can safely use them throughout the day, but the key is to apply them before you feel your eyes getting dry.
- Eye health problem
If your prescription is correct and you still experience dry eyes or dry contact lenses, your blurry vision could be a symptom of an underlying eye health issue. In this case, it’s best to consult your ECP immediately so that they can determine the root cause of the problem and take the proper course of action.
The problem: Contact lens ripping or tearing
The fix: More often than not, contact lens ripping or tearing results from improper handling. Contact lenses are made of thin and fragile plastic materials, so you need to take extra care when handling them. To avoid ripping or tearing your contact lenses, follow these tips.
- Avoid using your fingernails.
Never use your fingernails to handle contact lenses. When inserting a contact lens, only use your forefinger. When removing a contact lens, use your thumb and forefinger to break the suction before taking the contact lens out gently. Never pinch the contact lens with your nails. It’s also a good idea to keep your nails short to avoid accidents.
- Fill your contact lens case with solution.
Don’t be stingy with your contact lens solution. A half-filled case won’t be effective in disinfecting your lenses. It can also cause your lenses to stick to the dry portion of the case, leading to tearing or ripping when you try to take them out of the case.
- Keep your contact lenses moist.
Dry contact lenses tear easily, so you should never let your contact lenses get too dried out. Apply rewetting drops whenever necessary, and never store your contact lenses in a dry, empty case. Always keep your contact lenses in the proper contact lens solution. Don’t store your contact lenses in tap water, homemade saline solution, or saliva.
Anyone can safely wear contact lenses as long as they are properly handled and cared for. Follow the advice provided in this post and you won’t have to worry about running into problems while wearing contact lenses.