Contact lenses can be a safe alternative in correcting ones vision. There are common mistakes that you should be aware of.

A common mistake is sleeping in contact lenses. Sleeping in contacts can increase the risk of corneal ulcers and eye infections.  Even though there are contacts that are approved for extended wear usage, most eye doctors advise daily wear use.  When people sleep in contacts, bacteria under the lens can flourish due to the warm moist environment and a corneal infection may result. The patient usually wakes up in severe pain. Antibiotic drops are commonly prescribed but in severe cases a corneal transplant may be only treatment.

A second common mistake is rinsing lenses in tap water instead of contact lens solution.  This is dangerous because there are infectious agents in tap water that will cause severe corneal infections.  Always use contact lens solution to clean and store lenses.

Wearing contacts longer than their prescribed wearing time also occurs frequently.  Most lenses today are prescribed as either daily disposable, two week daily wear usage or monthly daily wear usage.  Contacts are prescribed for these wearing times because they are approved to maintain their integrity on the eye for that period of time. If contacts are worn past their prescribed times the contact can start to break down and breathe, wet, or clean as well. These can all lead to serious corneal issues down the road.

Contacts can be a safe addition to a patients eye care needs when worn and maintained properly.