This Saturday sees the start of a national week-long (24 – 30 March 2018) campaign called Love Your Lenses to help make contact lens users aware of the best way to look after their eyes and manage their lenses.
And here at BBR Optometry we’ll be actively promoting the week to encourage users to think carefully about their contact lens management.
Out of the three million or so contact lens users in the UK, around 90 per cent (based on a similar US survey) will most likely admit to not following the care instructions that come with their lenses.
Poor management and hygiene when it comes to changing or cleaning contact lenses can result in serious eye problems.
Whether rinsing reusable lenses under tap water or just handling them incorrectly, anything from irritable eyes to more serious and painful conditions can be caused.
This includes storing contact lenses in cases that have been cleaned and disinfected. This ensures germs present on the lenses or in the cases are killed, reducing the risk of injection.
This year’s General Optical Council (GOC) Love Your Lenses campaign will place an emphasis on the importance of washing hands thoroughly when changing contact lenses.
As daft as it might sound, many of us fail to wash our hands thoroughly enough, resulting in cross contamination that can lead to eye infections.
Optometrists, such as those here at BBR Optometry in Hereford, provide advice to all contact lens users about the importance of good hygiene and contact lens management.
The Love Your Lenses campaign will be promoting good practice throughout the week and our team of eye care and eye wear specialists here at BBR Optometry will also be highlighting the campaign.
Some basic advice from the GOC when looking after your eyes and contact lenses is:
• Have regular check-ups as advised by your practitioner
• Always wash and dry your hands prior to handling your lenses
• Always rub, rinse and store your lenses in the recommended solution before and after each use (except single-use lenses, which should be discarded after each wear)
• Always clean the lens case with solution, wipe with a clean tissue then air-dry after each use by placing the case and lids face down on a tissue
• Always apply the same lens first to avoid mixing them up
• Check the lens is not inside out before applying
• Check the lens is not damaged before applying
• Handle carefully to avoid damaging the lens
• Apply your lenses before putting on make-up
• Remove lenses then remove make-up
• Keep your eyes closed when using hairspray or other aerosols
• Replace your lens case at least monthly
• Discard lenses and solutions that are past their expiry date
• Wear only the lenses specified by your contact lens practitioner
• Stick strictly to the recommended wearing schedule and replacement frequency
• Make sure you have an adequate supply of replacement lenses or a spare pair
• Have an up-to-date pair of spectacles for when you need to remove your lenses
• Use tap water, or any other water, on your lenses or lens case
• Sleep in your lenses unless specifically advised to by your practitioner
• Use your lenses for swimming, hot tubs or water sports, unless wearing goggles
• Share contact lenses or wear any lenses not specified by your practitioner
• Wet your lenses with saliva
• Put a lens on the eye if it falls on the floor or other surfaces, without cleaning and storing again
• Re-use or top up solution – discard and replace with fresh solution each time lenses are stored
• Decant solution into smaller containers
• Wear lenses left in the case for more than seven days without cleaning and storing them in fresh solution
• Wear any lens overnight if you are unwell
• Wear your lenses when showering unless you keep your eyes firmly closed
• Switch the solution you use, except on the advice of your practitioner
• Use any eye drops without advice from your contact lens practitioner
• Apply a lens if it is dirty, dusty or damaged
• Continue to wear your lenses if your eyes don’t feel good, look good, or see well
Ask yourself these three questions, each time you wear your lenses:
• Do my eyes feel good all day long with my lenses in? — no discomfort
• Do my eyes look good? — no redness
• Do I see well? — no unusual blurring with either eye
If the answer to any of these questions is no, leave your lenses off and give us a call to discuss and make an appointment.