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Cleaning Your Contact Lenses:
You started as a new contact lens wearer with the best intentions for your eye health. Looking forward to the luxury plus convenience of contacts, but sooner or later, those intentions might dwindle. The three points to keep in mind for all contact lens wearers include improperly cleaning your contact lenses, overextending your contact lenses wearing schedule or overextending your contact lenses replacement schedule can damaging your eyes and put your eyes at risk. Contact lenses are classified as medical devices and are controlled by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). For safety purposes, they cannot be purchased without an expert fitting and a current contact lens prescription signed by a licensed eye care physician.
The moment you start extending your wearing schedule longer than that prescribed by your eye care professional or stop cleaning your contact lens, you put yourself at a higher risk for eye infections. There are many types of bacteria that can damage your eyes, one of them called microbial keratitis occurs when bacteria, viruses, or amoebae invade the cornea. In extreme cases, keratitis can lead to blindness.
The Food and Drug Administration recommends contact lens users use extra care in preserving, cleaning, storing, and disinfecting contact lenses as well as their storage cases and solutions. Not adhering to healthy hygienic practices might result in frightening consequences such as:

  1. Going blind: Center for Disease Control and Prevention predicts that blindness caused by a severe eye infection can hit one out of every 500 contact lens user each year. To lower the risk of serious complication related to contact lens use, users should avoid sleeping with their contacts on, wearing them for too long, sharing with friends, contamination by washing or contact with water or mixing different or expired storage solutions not recommended by your primary eye care professional that might lead to corneal irritation or scarring
  2. Contact lens parasites: Using your contact lens after its expiration date or over wearing them either by extended hours or replacement schedule can permanently harm your corneas. A shortage of oxygen can impair the surface of the epithelial tissue, forming tiny wounds into which the bacteria can quickly infect, extending to the rest of the eyes and providing an ideal breeding ground for parasites. Swimming in contact lenses can also be another cause of contact lens parasites. Even if you properly disinfect contact lens, you can still acquire Acanthamoeba keratitis if you wear contact lens while swimming. You never know what kind of bacteria could be lurking in swimming pools, hot tubs, drinking water, lakes, or sea water.
  3. corneal ulcers or Eye Ulcers: The Cornea is a clear layer of tissue at the front of the eye often described as the window of the eye and allows light to enter. Wearing contact lens for too long, or wearing them while sleeping can lead to an infection that causes an open sore on the cornea with inflammation and death of corneal tissue. This sore if left untreated can lead to permanent scarring and in severe cases the need for a corneal transplant.

Always see your eye doctor as directed for routine contact lens eye check-ups and your annual eye exam. Eye doctors can identify a small problem before they become big ones, and assist in keeping your eyes healthy and protected while you wear contact lenses.

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