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Approximately 36 million people wear contact lenses in the US. About 12 million of those people report having some type of redness or irritation from their lenses, but there are a few things you can do to prevent becoming a statistic.

Do Not Rub Your Eyes

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It is extremely important to avoid vigorously rubbing the eyes when wearing contacts. It is possible to tear the lens, which can lead to corneal abrasions, or cuts on the surface of the eye. These tend to be painful and often cause light sensitivity, foreign body sensations and tearing. If not treated promptly, a corneal abrasion can lead to vision threatening conditions such as a corneal ulcer.

Your contacts should be comfortable when you wear them, and your eyes should not feel irritated. This will help prevent itching and rubbing. If you feel your contacts aren’t fitting properly be sure to see an optometrist, such as one from Discover Vision Centers, right away.

Do Not Sleep in Your Lenses

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Although many contact lenses are designed for overnight wear, sleeping in your contacts can cause problems. The number one problem caused by sleeping in contacts is a corneal ulcer, which is typically the result of a bacterial infection.

If you wear your contacts to sleep, you’re not cleaning them regularly and this can allow bacteria to build up between the contact lens and the cornea causing an ulcer. If you do sleep in your lenses, be sure to take them out regularly for cleaning.

Clean Your Lenses Thoroughly

Thorough cleaning is imperative if you wear contacts. Not only does cleaning help prevent infections and ulcers, it also keeps the lens free of proteins which can build up on the surface and cause blurred or foggy vision as well as discomfort and irritation.

When cleaning your lenses, always wash your hands first and dry them with a lint free towel. Rinse the lens and massage it gently with your finger in the palm of your hand. Finish by rinsing the lens again and putting it in its case covered in solution.

Do Not Swim in Your Lenses

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Always wear goggles or take you lenses out before swimming. Water can contain bacteria and a sinister organism known as acanthamoeba, which can cause permanent vision loss and is notoriously difficult to treat.

Wearing contact lenses can not only enhance your vision but also your quality of life. These tips will help keep your contacts in good condition and your eyes healthy.

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