According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, August is “Back to School Eye Health Month.” For parents with teenagers who wear contact lenses, consider sharing with them the following information:
Four Contact Lens Tips Every Parent Should Share with Their Teens
- New quarter, new case – Replacing your contact lens case every three months will help keep germs at bay. To make it easy to remember, swap out your case at the beginning of each quarter. A study from the journal Ophthalmology showed that waiting to replace lens cases after 6 months increases the risk of eye infection by nearly 5.5 times.
- Just say no to H20 – You may be captain of the swim team, but you shouldn’t swim, shower or go in a hot tub wearing lenses. Water from the tap might be clean enough to drink or bathe in, but it’s still home to the parasite Acanthamoeba, which can cause severe eye infections resulting in vision loss. For the same reasons, do not use water to rinse or soak contact lenses or cases.
- You snooze, you lose – Never sleep in your contact lenses. The same Ophthalmology study also found that even occasionally sleeping in contact lenses increases the risk of moderate to severe eye infection by 6.5 times. Unfortunately, a recent poll of nearly 100,000 people by BuzzFeed found that about 70 percent of respondents occasionally or regularly sleep in their contact lenses.
- It’s too late if you wait – Symptoms of eye infections include redness, pain and light sensitivity, and should be examined by an ophthalmologist immediately. Waiting to get examined or treated could lead to vision loss.