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What Are the Rules for Safe Contact Lens Use?

The rules for safe contact lens use are to always for users to wash and dry their hands before touching them, minimize the lenses' contact with water, clean or wet them only with fresh solution and not to wear them longer than they're intended to be worn. It's also important for contact lens wearers to use the "rub and rinse" method to clean them, which is done by rubbing the lenses with contact solution, then storing them in fresh contact solution in a sterile container. Contact lens wearers should never use expired solution or any liquid that is not contact solution to clean contacts, and they should make sure that the lenses don't have contact with water. Wearing contact lenses while swimming, while showering or while in a hot tub can lead to an eye infection that can cause eye ulcers and even blindness. Types of contacts differ, so contact lens users should always follow their eye care professionals' directions.

More facts about safe contact lens use:

  • In a survey of more than 400 contact lens wearers, 98 percent did not follow the correct rules for caring for contacts.

  • Wearing contact lenses while in water exposes the lenses to a type of organism called Acanthamoeba, which can grow on the lenses. This organism can cause serious infections in humans and can even help spread the antibiotic resistant strain of staph bacteria methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

  • Another survey found that some contact lens users had substituted beer, lemonade, Coke® and even butter for contact lens solution.

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