Contact lenses are worn safely and loved by millions of people. They are simple, convenient to use and many wearers feel they offer better and more natural all-round vision than glasses.
However, research shows that not all contact lens wearers know how to look after their lenses properly so the General Optical Council is running their first “Love Your Lenses Week”. Most wearers won’t ever experience problems, however, if contact lenses are not treated with the love and respect they need, there is a small risk of developing potentially serious problems. If you’ve not seen your optician in a while, it’s a prime time to book in for an aftercare appointment.
Helen Tilley, optometrist at Monnow Eyecare says “During your check-up your optician will make sure that your contact lenses are fitting correctly and that your vision is good. It’s an opportunity to talk about caring for your lenses to make sure your eyes stay healthy. We have time to answer any questions you may have about the diverse types of lenses and solutions available and their suitability for your eyes and your lifestyle.”
If you love your eyes, you should love your lenses. As well as cleaning and storing contact lenses properly, there are other steps that should be taken, such as making sure they never come in to contact with water and always taking them out before taking a bath, shower or going for a swim. When wearing make-up, it’s advisable to apply your lenses prior to putting on your make-up and remove lenses before removing it. If you use hairspray or other aerosols keep your eyes closed before spraying.
Helen advises lens wearers to ask themselves three questions each time you wear contact lenses:
Do my eyes feel good all day long with my lenses in? — no discomfort
Do my eyes look good? — no redness
Do I see well? — no unusual blurring with either eye
If the answer to any of these questions is no, leave your lenses off and consult your optician immediately, who will advise you on what to do next. In most cases these infections can be treated easily but will require you to not wear your lenses for a short period of time. However, in rare cases a much more serious infection called acanthamoeba keratitis can cause lasting damage with life-changing consequences.
Alistair Bridge, Director of Strategy at the General Optical Council, which is orchestrating the week on behalf of the optical industry, said: “All contact lens wearers, including people who wear ‘cosmetic’ lenses, should go for a contact lens check-up at least once every year.” There is more advice about care for contact lenses and a quick lens care quiz on www.Loveyourlenses.com
Monnow team members Helen, Barbara, Mike, Ceri, Lisa and Darran are all qualified optometrists who will make sure you get the best advice about wearing contact lenses. To make an appointment pop into the practice or call the friendly reception team on 01600 715 299.