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More individuals are migrating from glasses to contact lenses, but inadequate care can lead to a risk of eye infection. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are urging contact lens wearers and healthcare providers alike to share the message of healthy wear and care practices. Messages are being dispersed regarding healthy contact lens hygiene habits, proper use and storage, and maintaining regular visits with eye care providers.
The contact lens health campaign is primarily targeted at contact lens wearers between the ages of 18-22 who are at the greatest risk of eye infections. If proper care habits are started early, many adverse reactions can be prevented. Tips for contact lens wearers include:
1) Washing hands with soap and water properly, and drying thoroughly, before touching contact lenses.
2) Removing contact lenses while sleeping unless otherwise directed by a physician.
3) Keep contact lenses away from water, particularly when showering, entering hot tubs, or swimming.
4) Each time you clean contact lenses, rub and rinse them with contact lens disinfecting solution, not water or saliva, every time they are removed.
5) Do not store contact lenses in plain water.
6) Replace contact lenses regularly as directed by a doctor.
7) Rub and rinse the contact lens case with contact lens solution, not water. Clean and dry the case with a tissue, and keep upside down with caps off after each use.
8) Replace the contact lens case every three months.
9) Never mix or top-off old solution with new, always clean, disinfect, and use new solution.
10) Use contact solutions as recommended by your eye doctor.
11) Maintain regular eye care visits and clarify any questions you may have or difficulties you are experiencing.
12) In case of irritation, blurred vision, or pain, remove contact lenses immediately and keep a spare set of glasses nearby in case.