I was in first grade when I first started wearing glasses. I'm sure that somewhere, there's a photo of little 7 year old me, big pink wire frames gracing my face. When I got to 6th grade, I somehow convinced my mom to let me get contacts. The prospect of being able to see without glasses on my face was super exciting, and middle-school me was totally sure that ditching the glasses would make me cooler.
While I'm not sure that that was true, (especially now that glasses are super cute!), I am grateful that I was able to start wearing contacts at a young age. As a photographer, having contacts makes my job a bit easier, and I like not having to worry about my glasses breaking or being smudgy! With over one in ten people wearing contacts in the US today, contacts are super common.
Our eyes and eye health are so important, so it's really imperative to be careful about your contact lens health! That being said, here are a few health tips that I've found to be super helpful if you wear contacts:
1 // WASH
When you go to the optometrist, they always have you wash your hands before putting in your contacts. There's a reason for this! Your hands can pick up first and bacteria throughout the day and you don't want all of that transferring to your eyes. Make sure to always wash your hands with soap and warm water before putting in or removing your contacts!
2 // CHANGE
Changing your contact solution (and using contact solution...not water!) is very important to keeping your contacts in their best shape. Always clean and rinse your lenses in the proper solution and dispose of that solution after storing your contacts overnight. Start with fresh solution each day!
3 // TOSS
Be sure to toss out your contacts on the right schedule! Regularly changing your contacts is imperative for reducing the risk of eye infections. Not only does a fresh pair of contacts contribute to the quality of your vision, but it's important to remember that contacts can have a build-up of films and deposits over time that can cause irritation or cloudy vision. Wearing your contact lenses longer than the suggested duration can also lead to eye damage form bacterial infections and oxygen deprivation. If you wear disposable contacts, be sure to remove and discard lenses according to your optometrist's instructions!
4 // REMOVE
This is one of the most important tips, in my opinion. Removing your lenses before sleep or exposing them to water will help contribute to good eye health. Sleeping with your contacts in can deprive your eyes from a break that they need, and can lead to eye damage, so don't forget to take them out before you hit the pillow!
5 // CHECK
I can't stress how important regular eye exams are! Whether you wear contacts, glasses, or neither, it's so important to have your eyes checked regularly by an optometrist. The American Optometric Association represents approximately 39,000 doctors of optometry, so there's bound to be one in your community. If it weren't for a regular check-up to her optometrist, my mom might not have found her eye cancer when she did. We love our optometrists!
Check out the American Optometric Association for more info about healthy contact lens habits, and check out this infographic for more info about contact lens health!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.