Summertime safety part 2: a word on contact lenses
This week, we’ve asked our resident contact lens specialist, Teresa Stewart L.D.O, to give us some strategic advice for summertime lens wear and care. Read the interview below.
What is your advice to contact lens wearer who hit the beach and the lake a lot during the summer?
“A lot of our patients switch to daily lenses during the summer. If you’re active and in the water a lot, you really should consider dailies. If you travel a lot, using dailies really simplifies everything–you don’t have to worry about packing cleaning solution or storage case. The one-day market has boomed in the past year, people love being able to throw away their contacts every night! And really, for contacts, daily lenses are the safest, healthiest way to go. This is the best way to ensure your lenses are fresh. The newest brand getting a lot of attention is Dailies Total1. This is a water-gradient lens, with an 80% H20 content, and advanced scientific technology to keep your eyes hydrated.”
If a doctor from WGECC has written your contact lens Rx, call our office (706-323-3491 ext. 7633) to find out if we can switch your current contact lens prescription to a daily-wear lens.
What question are you asked most frequently by contact lens wearers?
“When we’re talking contacts, the first thing everybody always asks is: ‘How long can I wear these?’ A lot of my 2-week lens (e.g. Acuvue products) wearers abuse the schedule and wear their contacts for at least a month or more. It’s very individual, some people experience problems from over-wear, some don’t. My advice? Don’t risk it. Stick with the doctor-approved wearing schedule, and always take your contacts out every night!”
Is it ever okay to sleep in your contacts?
“It is NOT recommended. The FDA has approved a few types of lenses for sleep-wear. But do you really want to have a foreign object in your eye 24/7? I always use the analogy, it’s like wearing the same socks on your feet, day and night, for one week straight. Is it unsafe? Not really. But is it a healthy practice? Definitely not. Our corneal specialists tell me they already see way too many people with permanently reduced vision due to contact lens related infections and scars.”
If you could communicate a few crucial pieces of wisdom to all your contact lens patients, what would they be?
“1.) Get a yearly exam! That is SO important, not only for ordering contact lenses (most places according to state law won’t allow you to order lenses if your Rx is 12 months or older), but also for the health of your eyes.
2.) Stick with your prescribed wearing schedule! Don’t elasticize the timing and try to get 3 days out of a daily lens or 30 days out of a 2-week lens. Don’t get slack. Don’t take risks with your vision. Treat your eyes like something valuable, something you cannot replace.”
Have a contact questions for Teresa? Give her a call at (706) 507-7633.