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How to Reduce Eye Infection Risks With Contacts

Eye Infection
Contact lens wearers are more likely to get eye infections than those who wear glasses or who don't need prescription lenses at all because of the way contacts are applied with your fingers. To keep your eyes healthy while wearing contacts, you need to lessen your risk of getting an eye infection. Here are tips you can use to keep your eyes healthy, even if you wear contacts daily.
Wash Your Lenses Before Each Use
Simply storing your contact lenses in fresh solution isn't enough to keep them clean. You need to properly wash each lens before applying it to your eye (after washing and drying your hands) to keep infection at bay. 

The most common contacts-related eye infection is keratitis, an infection of the cornea (also known as a corneal ulcer). Keratitis is most often caused by bacteria or fungi left on unclean contact lenses, which is why you should always wash your lenses.
Don't Wear Contacts When You Are Sick
To prevent spreading the common cold or sinus infection symptoms to your eyes when you are ill, forgo wearing contacts until you are well again. Pink eye, often caused by a virus but also caused by a cold that gets into the eye, is a common eye infection that you can be more at risk of getting if you continue to wear contacts while sick.
Furthermore, if you are fevered along with your illness, your eyes will often feel hot and dry as a result, making wearing contact lenses less comfortable. To protect your eye health and be more comfortable when you are ill, stick to wearing glasses until you feel better.
Don't Wear Someone Else's Contacts
Even if you have the same prescription as someone else, never wear someone else's contacts. Your eyes' diameter may be different than the other person's, or they may wear a different style of contact lens, which can cause irritation to your eyes and scratch them as a result (making your eyes more prone to an infection). 
Absolutely never wear anyone else's contact lenses if the contacts have been previously worn - you don't know how the wearer takes care of their lenses or if they have a current eye infection that can be passed on to you. If you are out of contacts, call your optometrist for an appointment and wear glasses in the meantime.
Don't Wear Torn Contact Lenses
You may think you can continue wearing contact lenses that are torn or very old, but you are putting your eyes at risk of infection when you wear your contact lenses too long. Torn lenses can scratch your cornea, allowing bacteria to get in your eye when you put in or remove your lenses.
Furthermore, protein deposits on well-worn lenses can cause irritation in your eyes, leading to puffiness and redness of the eye. If you continue wearing contacts beyond their useful life, you are putting your entire eye health at risk.
See your optometrist right away if you suspect you have an eye infection. If you have discharge from the eyes, red or burning eyes, swollen eyelids, or tenderness areas around eyes, throw away any used contact lenses you own, even if they have days of wear left in them. Continuing to wear contacts while you have an eye infection can cause your infection to return or worsen.
An eye infection can be treated with prescription eye drops and other treatments. Do not wear contact lenses after an eye infection until your eye doctor gives you permission. See us at the office of Harry W. Chan, OD for all your vision health needs today.