Contact lenses are among the safest forms of vision correction if you follow the proper care and wearing instructions provided by your eye doctor. Test your knowledge of proper contact lens hygiene habits by circling true or false below:
- True or False: It doesn't really matter if you wash and dry your hands before handling contact lenses. (Hint: Clean and safe handling of contact lenses is one of the most important ways for contact lens wearers to protect their sight.)
- True or False: It's important to clean and replace your case once a month. (Hint: Bacteria can grow in contact lens cases.)
- True or False: Be thrifty - buy and use whatever contact lens solution is on sale! (Hint: Use only products recommended by your eye doctor.)
- True or False: Swimmers may wear contact lenses in the pool as long as they wear water-tight goggles. (Hint: Wellfitting goggles can keep out small organisms that cause eye infections.)
- True or False: Always follow the recommended contact lens replacement schedule prescribed by your eye doctor. (Hint: Serious complications may occur, including vision loss, if contact lenses are worn beyond the prescribed.)
Answers: False, True, False, True, True
- Inspect your lens before putting it in your eye. (Lenses should be moist, clean, clear, and free of nicks/tears.)
- Use fresh lens care products and lenses before expiration dates. Change solution according to the manufacturer's recommendations. (Never re-use!)
- Remove your contact lenses if you have discomfort, tearing, vision changes, or redness and call your eye doctor.
- Use a lens if it is damaged or if the sterile blister package it comes in is open or damaged.
- Use saliva to wet your lenses. (Never put your lenses in your mouth!)
- Expose contact lenses to water - this may increase the risk of vision-threatening infection. (Remove contact lenses before showering.)
If you find yourself squinting at a text message or wondering why the entree options on a menu appear blurry, it might be tempting to consider buying an inexpensive pair of reading glasses from the neighborhood drugstore. These "readers", as they're called, work fine for some people but not for everyone. So if you find yourself unable to clearly make out the tiny directions on a medicine bottle, make an appointment with your eye care provider for an eye exam, then decide whether "readers" or prescription eyeglasses are right for you.
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