If this isn’t enough to start making you take care of your contacts, I don’t know what is…
I admit, I have not always been the best at following doctor recommended sanitary protocol and caring for my contacts.
In college, I’d sleep (pass out) with them in all.the.time. Those one month contacts turned into 3-4 month contacts. And actually cleaning my contacts? Yea, right. That’s what saline is for! (Hint: That’s not what saline is for.)
Well, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve been wearing my glasses a lot more anyways. So, I don’t have problems sleeping with the contacts in anymore, or wearing the same pair of contacts for 3-4 months straight every day. I mean…they might still last for, like, 3 months…. but I don’t wear them every day! Half the time they sit in saline solution on my bathroom counter. So, all good. Right?
I can come up with two reasons for NOT taking care of your eyes when it comes to contacts.
Laziness. And Money. Neither of these are legitimate reasons.
Especially when amoebas eating your eyeballs is on the line.
Last year I started having a really hard time keeping my contacts clean. I started to hate them, in fact. I’m not really sure WHY I started having these problems all the sudden. But after misusing my contacts for what is 12+ years, I’m almost surprised I didn’t have them all along.
So, what did I do? I talked to my eye doctor. Of course, they said ‘Use peroxide solution! Change your contacts when you’re supposed to!’
But they never really told me why. Then, I talked to a friend of a friend who is an eye doctor. She felt like a much more reliable source. I know the girl, so I trust her.
These are some tips she gave me, and explanations, of why I should be doing these sanitary things to keep my eyeballs from being eaten.
Needless to say…taking care of your contacts (and by association, your eyes) should be at the top of your daily hygiene list. It is now at the top of mine! This will help you reduce risk of eye infection, and make sure you will still be able to SEE!
1. Change your contacts when you are supposed to.
Contacts are made as daily, weekly, or monthly based on the material they are made from. Some are stronger than others, some can resister build-up longer than others. Even if your contacts aren’t ripped, there is constant bacteria build-up happening on them. After a certain amount of time, you can’t clean the bacteria off anymore. Bacteria can grow easily in your eyeballs, so if you are introducing bacteria into them every day on your contacts, that situation is just no bueno.
2. Use hydrogen peroxide solution to clean your lenses.
Turns out for a while, I was buying regular saline solution, which isn’t as good as specific multi-purpose solutions specifically for contacts. Why? You guess it…saline was cheaper. Well, the multi-purpose solutions usually require some ‘rubbing’ of the contacts (even ones that specify ‘no rub) to get off all bacteria debris from the contacts. The hydrogen peroxide solutions tend to work better for bacteria and build-up removal.
PLUS many of those saline and multi-purpose solutions aren’t super trustworthy. There’s no telling what the actual content is of them and whether they’ll be effective or not.
I would recommend looking for the 3% hydrogen peroxide solutions that are ‘one step’ – where the case you get with it acts as a neutralizer for the hydrogen peroxide so you don’t burn your eyes when you put your contacts in. Make sure that you use the new case you get each time you buy a new bottle to make sure the solution is neutralized!
3. Never, ever use tap water (or even worse, saliva) to clean your contacts.
All those minerals that are in normal water will add to the build-up of crap on your contacts. Especially if your water isn’t filtered, you never know what kind of stuff you’re putting into your eyes.
Let’s not get started on using your own spit to put your contacts back in, either. Thing of all the plaque, bacteria, and food you have floating around in your mouth… yuck!
4. On eye make-up and contacts…
Always apply make-up after putting in your contacts. And don’t use old eye make-up, either. Bacteria can build up on your mascara and eyeliners, so continual use of old make-up can introduce bacteria to your contacts after you just cleaned them off.