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If you’re a contact lens wearer, you’ve more than likely worn them longer than you’re supposed to at some point in time. Whether its coming home and sleeping in them after a long day or just forgetting to take them, many lens wearers will admit to improper contact lens use. Unfortunately, as convenient as leaving your contacts in can be, it is incredibly detrimental to your eye health and vision.

While many people use daily use contacts, the time range can extend all the way to month-long contacts and longer. The type of the contact defines the amount of time the lens can be used. The most common, conventional soft lenses, have the second longest usability after the rigid gas permeable lenses. Disposable lenses usually only have a time range of two weeks. There are many different lens options but all too often, contact wearers are wearing their contacts longer than recommended which can lead to eye infections and vision damages.

Dirty Contact Lens

Simply put, your contact need time to “breathe”. Even though they are porous, which allows the transfer of gases and other essential elements to and from the eye, contacts also collect germs, bacteria. Consider your contacts like a sponge. They can get dirty over time and contain a lot of nasty things you don’t want close to your eye. Just as you wouldn’t put a dirty old sponge in your eye, the same goes for your contacts.

Overusing the contact lens restricts oxygen to the thin layer of cells that protect and cover the cornea. These cells become weak because of the lack of oxygen which results in weakening the ability to fight bacteria. This is how eye infections occur.

What You Can Do

The easiest solution: take your contacts out when it is time. Set a reminder on your phone if you are someone who forgets to take them out. If they are day wear contacts, take them out each day. If they are month long, take them out at the end of each month.

You should also keep doctor recommended cleaning solution in supply as well. You never want to lubricate your lens with saliva or water. Too many germs and bacteria exist in those conditions.  Many eye infections have been a result of a contact not being cleaned sufficiently. To help ward off bacteria, also change your contact case in a timely manner as well.  


As always, we hope the best for you and your eye health. If you do get an eye infection, please do not hesitate to come see us!

Chemical Burns. Eye Globe Rupture. Thermal Burns. Cornieal Abrasions. Retinal Detachment.

 

The injuries listed above are common injuries seen around holidays that promote and have firework displays. With 4th of July coming up next week, it is vital to make your eyesight a priority when it comes to shooting fireworks. Every year, thousands of people suffer from permanent vision damage from accidents associated with fireworks. According to the 2014 U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, firework injuries in the United States sent over 10,000 people to the emergency room and over 1,000 of those injuries were eye related injuries.  The number of eye injuries doubled from 600 in 2012.

While many people believe that only those lighting the fireworks are at risk for firework injuries, research has shown otherwise. According to this study, nearly half of those injured by fireworks were bystanders. Around 35% of those injuries occurred to kids aged 15 years old and younger.

Many in the eye health and vision industry as well as the American Academy of Ophthalmology  support going to firework shows this year and letting the professionals handle the fireworks.
“Playing with consumer fireworks around these holidays have become such a beloved tradition that it is easy to forget the dangers they can pose, particularly to the eyes,” Philip R. Rizzuto, an ophthalmologist and clinical spokesperson for AAO, said in a press release. “We hope people will take the safest route to celebrating their independence by leaving fireworks to the professionals this year.”

If you do choose to go to a firework show, keep this tips in mind

  • Respect the barriers set up. Stay at least 500 feet away from where the fireworks are being lit.
  • Wear protective glasses to cover your eyes.
  • If you find a firework that hasn’t exploded, do not touch it. Call the fire department.

If you choose to stay at home and shoot your own fireworks, please take these safety precautions

  • Never let those under 18 years of age handle or light fireworks. Even sparklers burn at around 2000 degrees.
  • Wear protective eye glasses when you light fireworks.
  • Do not light professional-level fireworks, those are for trained professionals.

If you do have a firework related eye injury, call 911 immediately and do not rub your eyes. If there are any objects in the injured eye, do not try to take it out because that may cause more damage.

Everyone here at The Family Meadows Eye Care wishes you and your family a happy and safe 4th of July! We will be closed to spend time with our family.

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