Your mother always tells you to wash your hands after you go to the washroom and there’s a reason for that. She’s not just nagging–she’s preventing you from spreading a disease to others and other parts of your body. Your eyes, for example, are very sensitive to bacteria. Even something as insignificant as rubbing your eyes can transmit bacteria from your hands to your eyes.
The NYU Langone Medical Center did a small study where they swabbed the eyes of 20 people, 9 who wore contacts and 11 who didn’t in order to examine what types of bacteria their eyes were exposed to. They confirmed that people who wear contacts have different types of bacteria than those who don’t. Those that wear contacts have a higher number of bacteria, such as Lactobacillus, Acinetobacter, Methylobacterium, and Pseudomonas, which are commonly linked to corneal ulcers. The fact is that the number of corneal ulcers has increased since they started using soft contact lenses back in the 70’s.
How Prevent Contact Lenses Infections?
Practice Good Hygiene: Many times we’ve been in a public washroom where we’ve noticed others use the facilities and check themselves out in the mirror and walk out without washing their hands. Gross! Make sure that you wash your hands with anti-bacterial soap before you place or remove your contact lenses and put enough contact lens solution to prevent the transferring of bacteria from your hands to your eyes.
Try New Contacts: The contact lens industry has grown tremendously over the last 10 years. Before we were forced to use one pair of plastic or glass lenses and we had to be extra careful. Plus we were extra careful to not sleep with them on. Now you can sleep with them, which might cause irritation and allow bacteria in your eyes. A better solution would be to talk to your eye doctor for better options, like disposable contact lenses that are more hygienic.
Wear Glasses: Just like when you come home tired after a long day and you change into your slippers, the same thing applies to your eyes. It’s important to give your eyes a rest and let them breathe. Most eye doctors recommend that you wear contacts during the day or at work and that you use your glasses during the afternoon and even on weekends. Try limiting yourself to wearing your contact lenses for 12-14 hours a day.