Attention contact lenses wearers, Synovate market researchers conducted some interesting research. They studied contact lens-handling practices among 500+ contact lens wearers. Their results demonstrate contact lenses wearers must improve lenses handling methods to protect their eyes from bacteria and eye infections that plague careless lens handlers. Dr. David Wesson, an ophthalmologist, explains, “We see patients all the time that abuse their contact lenses.”
Results of Synovate’s Research
Synovate’s research yielded some eye-opening results
A. Wash your hands well before handling your contacts. Germs found on your hands can be passed to the lenses if you don’t. In Synovate’s research, nearly half didn’t scrub up first. Clarence Kickliter, a licensed optician, agrees, “Always wash your hands before you do anything with your contacts or your eyes.”
B. Rinse out the contact lens case after placing lens in your eyes. The case will then be empty and clean for re-storing the lens later. Always add new lens solution to the container. Never place lenses in a case with already-used solution. Synovate’s research revealed 20% of lens wearers have placed contacts into already-used solution. Doing so exposes the eyes to various germs. “Storing contact lenses in approved contact lens solution is very important,” says Dr. Wesson. “It loses its potency after 24 hours, so never store them in already used solution.”
C. Being an avid swimmer, I am surprised by the recommendation one not swim or get into a hot tub while wearing contact lenses. Apparently some pretty scary germs exist in pools and hot tubs. Dr. Wesson seconds this concern, “Never wear contact lenses when swimming or in water. Microbes in the water if they get into the contact lens matrix will cause very serious eye damage.”
One microbe called “Acanthamoeba” can trigger eye damage and intense eye pain. Not only that, Acanthamoeba exposure can cause a contact lenses wearer to need a corneal transplant! It’s pretty scary when you look at the statistics Synovate discovered that 70% of their research participants reported taking a splash while wearing contacts.
D. As a contact lenses wearer, I’ve actually committed the mother of all contact lenses sins placed a contact in my mouth when I had no water or case with me. Yes, I know this sounds unsanitary, and, in fact, it is. Human mouths have lots of germs and bacteria that you wouldn’t want on your contact and certainly not in your eye! Can you believe 40% of people surveyed by Synovate admitted to having placed a contact in their mouths before? I guess I’m not the only one.
The American Optometric Association Recommendations
Just to cover all the bases, let’s review The American Optometric Association recommendations for safe and healthy contact lenses care. Follow these tips and you will keep your eyes safe and sound. Safety of contact lenses is very important as mentioned at CosplayLens.
1. Thoroughly cleanse your hands before inserting or removing your contact lenses.
2. Wash your lenses according to your eye care provider’s directions. Rinse, rub, rinse.
3. Always rinse the case with solution and let it dry out after placing your contacts into your eyes. Don’t use the same case for longer than 3 months.
4. Purchase and use high-quality solution recommended by your eye care provider.
5. Place the fresh solution into the case before storing your lenses. (Do not place contacts into prior-used solution.)
6. Discard lenses after you wear them the prescribed length of time.
7. Always remove contact lenses before swimming or getting in a hot tub.
8. Be sure to get regularly scheduled eye exams.
Find an eye care provider that you like and trust. Then see him/her as indicated to keep your eyes in the best shape possible. Plus, new eye care research and development means there will be better products being manufactured all the time, like contacts and solutions. The best contact to find out about such developments in your professional eye care provider.
Establishing effective hygiene habits to avoid eye infections is paramount to protecting your vision. Be aware of Synovate’s recent research results regarding less than stellar contact lenses care practiced by contact lens wearers. Protect the windows to your soul.