While planning your wedding, don’t forget the health of your eyes. Being in a rush and overwhelmed with all the preparations you have to take care of your contact lenses.
The cornea is living tissue and as such requires oxygen for its respiration and life cycle.
Oxygen is obtained:
- Directly from the atmosphere by diffusion through the contact lens material (approx 80% of oxygen demand)
- From the tear solution (approx 10% of oxygen demand)
- From the blood supply of the eye (approx 10% of oxygen demand)
If oxygen supply is restricted then the cornea becomes hypoxic (it gets strangled of oxygen). Your contact lenses may become uncomfortable to wear, your eyes may become hot and burny, and your vision may become cloudy. (Smokey room sensation)
These are symptoms of overwear. These symptoms are very uncommon with the advent of silicone hydrogel lenses, which allow a fully adequate amount of oxygen to pass through the lens material, to keep your eyes healthy.
The cornea has the potential to become infected. There are a lot of micro-organisms in the environment (bugs) that can harm the health of your eyes. Bugs can live very happily in your contact lens case, and some like acanthamoeba has the potential to do serious damage to your eyes. Acanthamoeba is a very ubiquitous organism, it’s everywhere, even in the tap water! So don’t go soaking your lenses in tap water!
Make sure you are sterilizing your lenses! Make sure you are replacing the multi-purpose solution in your case regularly!
- Wash your hands before handling your contact lenses.
- During the initial adaptation of wearing color contact lens, consider increasing your wearing time by a maximum of 4 hours per day.
- Develop a habit of always cleaning and sterilizing your lenses daily, preferably at night upon removal.
- Clean your contact lens case regularly with a toothbrush, boil the case and allow it to air dry.
- Replace your contact lens case frequently. You usually get a new case with your multi-purpose solution, so discard your old case then.
- Check the cleanliness of your contact lenses daily by holding them up to the light and examining the surface.
- Discontinue wear or reduce wearing time if you are getting symptoms of over-wear. It will only get worse otherwise.
- Read the signs your eyes are giving you.
If you have a problem that you cannot resolve simply, then discontinue wear and consult your optometrist.
- Never travel overseas without a backup spectacle correction. You may have to discontinue contact lens wear for one reason or another.
- Don’t ever rinse or store lenses in tap water (especially overseas) or use unsterilized or homemade saline
- Don’t mix and match with contact lens solutions. They may not be compatible. Try and stay with the lens care system your optometrist recommended.
- Don’t wear old, ripped, nicked. Torn or dirty lenses. Replace them.
- Don’t go longer than a year without having your optometrist check your cornea and your lenses.
- Don’t get complacent with lens care and maintenance.
Don’t wear your lenses off into the never-never knowing you have a problem and ignoring it!