There’s an increased risk of a very serious, sight threatening eye infection if you mix your contact lenses (CLs) with water. This is caused by a virulent microorganism called acanthamoeba which is commonly found in many sources of water including tap water, tank water, various fresh water sources, spas, pools and even your shower.
- 'Although rare it’s just not worth taking the risk.'
- Complications can lead to permanent vision loss!
- These types of infections can be very difficult to treat.
TO REDUCE YOUR RISK OF AN ACANTHAMOEBA INFECTION:
DO NOT use water with your contact lenses;
- DO NOT rinse contact lenses or your contact lens case with water
- DO NOT store your lenses in water
REMEMBER to dry your hands well after handwashing.
DO NOT swim in your contact lenses
- Ideally remove your lenses, store them in disinfecting solution in their case and wear swimming goggles or prescription swimming goggles.
- If you must wear CLs while swimming, wear swimming goggles to keep water out of your eyes. Remove your lenses immediately after your swim and disinfect them before resuming wear: If you wear reusable lenses, give your eyes a break for the remainder of the day and consider discarding them as the best practice. For daily disposable CL wearers, discard your lenses after swimming and never re-use them!
Shower before inserting your lenses, or after removing them. If you must wear CLs while showering, close your eyes tightly and keep them shut while they are under the shower.
GENERAL SAFETY & CONTACT LENS CARE
There are other types of infections that can arise from contact lens wear. Your eyes need to:
- Look Good
- Feel Good
- See Good
If they don’t, cease CL wear and see your Optometrist or Ophthalmologist promptly.
Contact lens prescriptions expire after twelve months: Make sure you have your eyes checked regularly.
- ALWAYS follow the recommended wear and care instructions of your contact lens practitioner and manufacturer
- DO NOT mix and match solutions or change the recommended disinfecting solutions prescribed
- ALWAYS use fresh, unexpired solutions to care for your lenses
- REMEMBER solutions generally expire 90 days after opening the bottle, so always check the label
Replace contact lens storage cases frequently. A new case is often provided with every bottle of solution
- DISCARD any leftover solution in your CL storage case. Rinse your lens case with fresh solution and wipe your case dry with a clean tissue. Air dry lens case and caps face down on a clean tissue
- Dispose of Contact Lenses and Storage cases on the prescribed schedules
- DO NOT sleep in your lenses unless they were prescribed specifically for this purpose
If you don’t wear your lenses regularly, clean and disinfect them again before wearing them
SOMETHING TO CONSIDER:
Along with Rigid Gas Permeable CLs, Daily Disposable CLs (DDCLs) carry the lowest risk of severe infections. DDCLs are the most convenient as there are no disinfecting solutions to worry about and you wear a fresh lens every time.