Healthy contact lens wear during springtime

By Chanté Roets - (UOFS) CAS(SA)

Spring is supposed to be fun! However, it is a known fact that older teens and young adult contact lens wearers fall into a group with increased risk for eye infections associated with contact lens wear. Contact lenses are a safe and efficient form of vision correction unless they are not cared for properly.

Spring might involve being around the water. Water and contact lenses should not come in contact. Water can be home to numerous viruses and dangerous microbes. One of the most serious is the Acanthamoeba organism. It can attach to your lenses and cause inflammation and infection on the cornea. It’s so serious that it can cause permanent vision loss.

Spring is also known for allergy season, so if you wear contacts, you probably know the feeling of red, itchy eyes. So much that you want to rub your eyes or douse them in eye drops. Here are some tips to keep your eyes healthy if you wear contact lenses and suffer from allergies this spring:

  • Clean your contact lenses more often or switch to daily contact lenses: Allergens like pollen or dust may stick to your contact lenses.  Keep some preservative free contact lens solution with you.  Remember to wash your hands first, then gently rub and clean your contact lenses throughout the day. Also, talk to your optometrist about daily contact lenses. Daily contact lenses allow you to start each morning new, since you wear a fresh pair every day. 

  • Use eye drops: Eye drops are used to soothe irritated or dry eyes caused by contact lenses, but they are as essential as your antihistamine tablets during hay fever season. Anti-allergy eye drops are also great - but check whether they are suitable to use with contact lenses. For some, you may need to apply them and wait a few minutes before putting in your lenses.

  • Don’t rub: It is very tempting to rub your itchy eyes.  But don’t!  Excessive rubbing could ultimately lead to thinning of your cornea which can permanently damage your vision.  Rubbing is also a good way to transmit germs to your eyes, thereby causing infection. For relief, try a cold compress or cool wash cloth.

Keep these tips in mind when you are on vacation or at home for healthy contact lens wear!