YOU Magazine - October 2018 - Contact Lenses: To See or Not to See
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Fred Gruber     Fred Gruber
Director / Principal / Broker
First Rate Financial Group
Phone: (800) 620-8802
License: NMLS #256707, CA-DRE 01455710
Corp. License: NMLS #1777223, CA-DRE 02075839
First Rate Financial Group
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Contact Lenses: To See or Not to See

Contact Lenses: To See or Not to See

The Centers for Disease Control estimates around 45 million people in the U.S. wear contact lenses, and six out of seven of them do not follow all care and safety instructions. This has been linked to outbreaks of eye irritation, infections, and sometimes, eye scarring, corneal ulcers, and blindness. If you are considering contact lenses, already wear them, or know someone who does, check these clear-sighted tips and reminders.

Look out for water. One of the strictest warnings by the FDA (and your eye doctor!) is to prevent lenses from exposure to water of any kind, especially tap. Handling them with wet or unwashed fingers is also discouraged. Lenses are porous, and water contains bacteria and chemicals that can absorb into the lens and get trapped by your eye. This can result in anything from an infection to permanent vision loss. Swimmers also take note: Water can cause soft lenses to tighten against your eyes causing significant irritation. Wear goggles and soak your lenses in solution immediately following a swim for at least 24 hours.

Review your routine. Contact lenses should be inserted after you shower, given the warnings above. Blow drying or using hairspray should also be done first, as they can cause severe moisture loss. However, lenses should be inserted before applying makeup, as any residue left behind on your hands could transfer and damage your lenses. Eye care professionals also caution against applying mascara to the base of lashes and liner to the inner eyelids.

Show old cases the door. Minimize bacterial and fungal growth by rinsing your lens case regularly with solution (never use tap water, for the reasons noted above) and leaving it open and upside down to dry fully. The wet, dark environment of a lens case can be a breeding ground for bacteria. Reduce the chance of infection by discarding cases monthly.

Watch the time. While you may be able to see out of contact lenses you've been wearing too long or sleeping in, over wearing short-term lenses can lead to serious complications, like scarring of the cornea and loss of vision. Shorter-term disposable lenses are not manufactured to allow the right amount of oxygen and moisture into your eyes for extended periods. If you tend to overdo the wear period or sleep in your lenses, talk to your eye care provider. There are specially-designed lenses for these preferences.

See the unexpected. Accidents happen, so if you lose a contact and find it, don't rinse it with water and pop it back in. Carry a spare pair of glasses or contacts with you. And if you have pain or redness in your eyes, remove your contacts and visit your eye care provider.

These tips will help ensure you maintain healthy eyes and safe vision for years to come.

Sources: Mental Floss, University of Utah Health, CDC

First Rate Financial Group is Licensed by the California Department of Real Estate - #02075839, NMLS #1777223

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