7 things you should never do with your contact lensesadmin
Contact lenses are the salvation for many people who wear glasses – finally pretend you can see everything without a frame on your face! Despite all the freedom, handling requires a few rules, explains the master optician.
Once you get over the fact that you regularly put a piece of plastic directly on your eyeball, you feel pretty invincible as a contact lens wearer – half blind, but no one notices! And finally you can wear sunglasses again and cuddle wildly (without subsequent grease stains on the glasses)!
But you are not that invincible: As easy as handling may seem once you get the hang of it, mistakes can easily creep in, which can have minor to serious consequences.
7 mistakes in handling contact lenses
1. Touch contact lens and/or eye without washing hands
Happens quickly: Take it out for a moment, clean it (apropos: see point 5!), put it back in – an everyday situation for contact lens wearers. And if you haven’t just cut an onion, that’s no problem, right? Unfortunately yes. Because our hands are full of germs and bacteria that can lead to inflammation and even infections of the cornea or conjunctiva through the smallest injuries to the surface of the eye. Sabrina Kuene: “This is particularly dangerous because the cornea does not have a blood supply and is therefore difficult to defend against infections. This often leads to small corneal ulcers and permanent scars that cloud the cornea in the long term.”
2. Not cleaning the lenses daily and thoroughly (and not changing the cleaning liquid regularly)
Daily cleaning of the contact lenses is the be-all and end-all. Because: “Deposits and dirt on the lens interfere with vision and reduce visual acuity. In addition, the oxygen permeability of the lens and thus the oxygen supply to the cornea suffer, which leads to corneal inflammation and, in the long term, to contact lens intolerance can lead.”
Daily rinsing with cleaning solution is essential – if you change the solution just as regularly. If you leave them for too long, you risk bacteria building up, which in turn can get into the eye through the lens. Anything but tasty!
3. Wearing the contact lenses for too long
“Basically, when wearing soft contact lenses, the cornea is undersupplied with oxygen,” explains the master optician. “Consequently, contact lenses cannot be worn continuously 24 hours a day . The cornea needs recovery time in which it can ‘catch air’ again.” And there is another disadvantage: “The contact lens fools the cornea into believing that it is sufficiently moistened and thus causes a chronic undersupply of tear fluid over the long term. This so-called ‘ sicca syndrome ‘ is difficult to get under control and is work on the screen even more.”
4. Rubbing the eyes when the contact lens itches
The dryness caused by wearing contact lenses can make your eyes itchy. The first reflex: we rub our eyes. Not a good idea! “This is very harmful for the eyes, because the parallel fibers in the cornea are only connected to one another by a fine cross-linking. Rubbing can loosen these connections and thus lead to a soft and unstable cornea. The consequences are increasing short-sightedness, irregular astigmatism and reduced visual acuity,” explains Sabrina.
5. Put the contact lenses in your mouth and lick them off
Every contact lens wearer has probably already done this. But: There are many times more bacteria in the mouth than in the eye, where they – see point 1 – can lead to serious infections through the smallest of injuries.
6. Wearing the contact lenses even though the eye is irritated
When the eye is itchy, red, or watering excessively, it needs one thing: your attention. Whatever the cause of the reaction, an incipient inflammation or rupture of the lens, the contact lenses should then be removed as soon as possible.
7. Go swimming with the contact lenses
How? Shouldn’t I go swimming with lenses? That’s what I have them for! Well, unfortunately no, explains Sabrina Kuene: “Contact lenses absorb liquid substances such as chlorine like a sponge and store them. This can lead to serious eye irritation.” Less surprising: the risk of contact lenses being washed out of the eyes when swimming or diving.