Contact lenses are worn by millions of people. Not only do they help you see clearly, they ensure you can keep doing the sports and activities you love. But research shows we’re not looking after them properly, with some people using saliva to wet their lenses.
That is why this Love Your Lenses Week (March 23-30), Specsavers is urging wearers to take proper care of their contacts.
Studies show more than three-quarters of contact lens wearers (77%) have experienced a problem while wearing contact lenses at some point, but a fifth of people do not follow lens advice – even if they are aware of it.
For 10% of people, this includes knowing that you should not wet your lenses with saliva but doing it anyway, while 11% sleep in their lenses despite knowing they should not do so.
And although 85% of people think they comply with hygiene advice, only 32% of people actually take proper care of their lenses, which means the majority of wearers are putting their eye health at risk.
Here, Specsavers shares its top tips on looking after your contacts to make sure you keep your eyes healthy and free from bacteria and infection:
- Always wash and dry your hands before handling your contact lenses
- Don’t share your contact lenses
- Don’t sleep in your lenses unless you’ve been advised to do so
- Don’t use tap water or any other water on your lenses or case
- Don’t wet your lenses with saliva
- Apply your lenses before putting on makeup
- Don’t swim with your lenses in
- Keep your eyes closed when using hairspray
- Don’t wear your lenses in the shower
Geraint Jones, contact lenses engagement lead and optometrist at Specsavers, says: ‘It’s important that good hygiene is always followed when handling contact lenses. You wouldn’t put something dirty into your mouth so why would you do the same with your eyes?
‘Clean, dry hands should always be used when putting in and taking out lenses and always rub, rinse and store your lenses in the recommended solution too.’
It is recommended that everyone has an eye test every two years and contact lenses have a check-up once a year.