Love Your Lenses or risk serious eye infections

23 March 2018

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:

Do:

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


Don’t:

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.

Archive