Health Habits = Healthy Eyes
When cared for properly, contact lenses can provide a comfortable and convenient way to work, play, and live for the 30 million plus people in the U.S. who wear them. Contact lenses are medical devices, and failure to wear, clean, and store them as directed can increase the risk of eye infections, such as microbial keratitis. Your habits, supplies, and eye doctor are all essential to keeping your eyes healthy.
Wearing and caring for contact lenses properly is critical to keeping the eyes healthy and preventing eye infections; however, the majority of contact lens wearers do not practice proper contact lens hygiene.
Since 2006, in the US there have been three outbreaks of Acanthamoeba keratitis and Fusariumkeratitis—both of which are very serious and sometimes blinding types of eye infections. These outbreaks have brought attention to contact lens wearer hygiene and the need for consistent information about how to wear and care for contact lenses to help prevent such infections. The CDC—with input from experts in optometry, ophthalmology, opticianry, and infectious diseases—encourages contact lens wearers to follow these recommendations, which are based on data from a number of studies:
- Rules To Live By -
- Wash your hands with soap and water. Dry them well with a clean cloth before touching your contact lenses every time.
Don't sleep in your contact lenses unless prescribed by your eye doctor.
- Keep water away from your contact lenses. Avoid showering in contact lenses, and remove them before using a hot tub or swimming.
Your Contact Lenses
- Rub and rinse your contact lenses with contact lens disinfecting solution—never water or saliva—to clean them each time you remove them.
- Never store your contact lenses in water.
- Replace your contact lenses as often as recommended by your eye doctor.
Your Contact Lens Case
- Rub and rinse your contact lens case with contact lens solution—never water—and then empty and dry with a clean tissue. Store upside down with the caps off after each use.
- Replace your contact lens case at least once every three months.
Your Contact Lens Solution
- Don’t "top off" solution. Use only fresh contact lens disinfecting solution in your case—never mix fresh solution with old or used solution.
- Use only the contact lens solution recommended by your eye doctor.
Your Eye Doctor
Visit your eye doctor yearly or as often as he or she recommends.