OPINION

Health and Wellness: Contact lenses are like underwear

Ann Cochran - Dallas County Health Department
Special to Dallas County News and Perry Chief

Contact lenses are like underwear: don’t over-wear them, avoid that sketchy pair and carry a spare. 

Don’t over-wear — replace contacts as often as your eye doctor tells you, and don’t sleep in them unless your eye doctor OKs this. Sleeping while wearing contacts is a common cause of painful, red infections. 

Avoid that sketchy pair — never buy contacts from a source that doesn’t require a prescription. If a disposable contact comes out and you can’t disinfect it with fresh solution right away, throw it out. Better to pay the price of a new contact than risk infection. 

Carry a spare pair (of glasses) —if you have to remove your contacts for an unexpected late night, a trip to the pool or if a contact comes out, have a pair of glasses as a backup. 

Pay attention to how you clean and store your contacts. Bottled drinking water is not sterile and contains microorganisms that can contaminate lens cases and contacts and cause eye infections. 

Least likely to consistently practice good contact lens hygiene? Teens and college students. This puts them at a greater risk of painful eye infections. Be extra sure they see their eye doctor yearly.