When In Doubt, Take It Out!

Over the weekend, I encountered someone who was unwilling to stop wearing his contact lenses despite redness and irritation. This was at a social event, so I was unable to examine him properly, but I urged him to remove his lenses and visit his optometrist the next day. The rule of thumb is when in doubt, take it out! This is why it’s also important for contact lens wearers to have a good pair of glasses with a current prescription, in the event that you are unable to wear your contacts. He didn’t like wearing his glasses because the vision was not as good as with his contacts (perhaps an outdated prescription). For other people, it may be a vanity reason. In that case, it’s worth remembering that a big, red, drippy eye is not attractive either!

It is just not worth the risk. I was reminded of a recent news article where a student lost her eyesight as a result of over-wearing her contact lenses. She did not remove her limited-wear, disposable contact lenses for six months, and even wore them when swimming. Contact lenses decrease the amount of oxygen available to the cornea, especially when sleeping (even over one night!). This leaves them unhealthy and vulnerable to infection. Compounded with the bacteria from shower water and swimming pool water clinging onto the contacts, and you’ve got a recipe for an infection.

This girl was particularly unlucky, because Acanthamoeba infections are rare and extremely devastating for the cornea, but there are other bacteria in tap water and on the skin which are much more common and can also cause infections when the eyes are left vulnerable with contact lens over-wear. This case underscores the importance of using contact lenses as prescribed, taking them out every night, and disinfecting them with new solution every night

If your eyes look red, feel sore or painful, or have a gooey discharge, take your contacts out ASAP and go see your optometrist!

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Contact Lenses Are Like Underwear

This is a great message from the Center of Disease Control and Prevention.

Most people wouldn’t put on dirty underwear, but they don’t think twice about putting in dirty contact lenses! Just because they look clear, the solution is clear, and the case looks clean, doesn’t mean everything is OK. There can be many invisible deposits or microorganisms which cause irritation and nasty eye infections. DON’T over-wear your lenses!

CLs are like underwear


Don’t over-wear. Avoid that sketchy pair. Carry a spare.

1. Don’t Over-Wear

  • Replace your contacts as often as your eye doctor tells you, and don’t sleep in them (unless your eye doctor says otherwise).

2. Avoid That Sketchy Pair

  • If a contact comes out and you can’t disinfect it with fresh solution (never water or spit) right away, throw it out. Don’t buy contacts from costume shops or anywhere that doesn’t require a prescription.

3. Carry a Spare Pair (of Glasses)

  • If you need to take out your contacts for an unexpected late night or trip to the pool, or if a contact somes out, have a pair of glasses as a backup.
  • Clean your case with solution daily, and get a new case at least every three months.
  • Take out contacts before showering, swimming, or hot tubbing.

Cover your butt. Take care of your eyes.

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The Eyes are Windows to Your Health

Eye exams are not just for glasses! The back of the eye is the only place where blood vessels can be viewed directly without breaking skin, so there are diseases that can by caught by an eye doctor before you start noticing symptoms anywhere else. It is so important to have your eyes checked regularly, even if you think your vision is fine. “Regularly” means at least once every two years, or yearly if there are health problems that run in the family.

Follow the link below to see 14 health problems which your eye doctor can see first, including diabetes, high blood pressure, thyroid dysfunction, and more!

What Eye Exams Can Tell You About Your Overall Health 

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