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Wearing contact lenses is a lot like taking a prescription drug. Wearers must follow their eye care professional's recommendations in order to use them properly. Regular follow-up visits to check eye health is essential to problem free, long term contact lens wear.
The potential problems that contact lens wearers may experience from improper use include anything from itchy eyes, reddened eyes and eyes that feel tired -- to more serious vision problems. It is essential that you follow your eye care professional's directions and all labeling instructions for proper use of your lenses and lens care product, including the lens case.
The kinds of care that contacts require, and how long they should be worn, is something only your eye care professional can decide. Wear-and-care regimens depend upon the type of contacts prescribed, vision needs and personal eye health. Do not be discouraged if you have been told that you cannot wear contact lenses -- advances in contacts lens technology are enabling people who previously could not wear contact lenses to wear them comfortably and safely.
Consumers should check with their eye care professional about the eye care steps they should be following. (Many people who think they are taking proper care of their lenses may be surprised to find that they aren't.) Contact lens wearers should follow their eye care professional's directions completely and review them at each follow-up office visit.
Contact lens manufacturers continue to stress the importance of proper contact lens wear and care. These efforts include providing detailed instructions that provide important health and safety information, and stress the importance of proper wear and care.
Consumers who wear and care for their contact lenses properly will experience few problems.
Ideally, nothing but a fresh, clean lens should ever be in contact with your eyes. But dust, dirt, and other foreign substances can contaminate the surface of your lenses, as well as your lens storage case. Here are ways you can avoid some common pitfalls:
With the array of lens care solutions now available, it helps to know the purpose of each. Some solutions are designed to perform more than one of these functions:
Cleaning Solution removes dirt, mucus, and debris that accumulate on the lenses during wear.
Rinsing Solution removes other solutions and debris from the lenses. It is also used to prepare the lenses for wearing.
Disinfecting Solution kills bacteria on the lenses which could cause eye infections.
Multi-Purpose Solution cleans, rinses and disinfects the lenses.
Rewetting Solution lubricates the lenses while you're wearing them. This can enhance the comfort of your lenses throughout the day.
Use only fresh, sterile solutions for cleaning, rinsing and disinfecting. If your solution has expired, throw it away. Solutions may become contaminated after opening; do not touch open bottle tips to any surfaces. Some solutions should never be used in combination with each other, so use only those recommended by your eyecare professional. Finally, don't switch solution brands without your eyecare professional's approval.
Frequent eye exams are indispensable to your eye health. Since the eye is a sensitive organ, it undergoes many changes over a lifetime - changes that may be imperceptible to you, but which can lead to difficulties if left undetected. Only your eyecare professional has the specialized knowledge and precision instrumentation available to evaluate the general health of your eyes, as well as the effectiveness of your contact lenses.
Seeing 20/20 isn't the only reason to have an eye exam. During the course of an annual exam, your eyecare professional may not only tell you about the health of your eyes, but also about your health in general. Your eyecare professional may detect the early onset of certain diseases such as glaucoma and cataracts, as well as diabetes, high blood pressure and multiple sclerosis - just by examining your eyes.
In addition to your annual eye exam, your eyecare professional will tell you how often you need to have your eyes checked. Never extend the time until your next visit.