Contact lens mistakes in Singapore
Not all of us are blessed with 20/20 vision, and even then wearing a pair of spectacles and getting ridiculed for having “four eyes” is something that we’d rather not have to deal with most of the time. This is where contact lenses come in handy. You’re able to see a lot more visually with no frame blocking your peripherals, nor do they fog up when you breathe into your mask.
But you’ll have to be a lot more careful when caring for your eyesight with contact lenses as one misstep can lead to an entire day of rubbing your irritated eyes or even a bout of dry eyes. Here are eight avoidable mistakes that contact lens wearers make to take note of so you don’t wake up one day and kena conjunctivitis.
1. Putting on your contact lens with wet or damp hands
Washing your hands before putting in your contacts is an absolute must. But if your hands are still wet when you touch the lens, you risk transferring over the germy microorganisms that will irritate your eyes or even cause an infection in the worst case scenario.
Don’t worry, this is easily preventable by simply getting your hands as dry as possible before picking up the lens with your finger. Preferably with a lint-free towel.
2. Reusing your daily contact lenses
Daily contact lenses are called as such for a reason – they’re meant to be used for just one day and nothing more. The kiasu and thrifty spirit in us might think that it’s okay to reuse a pair of dailies if you only wore them for a few hours, but this runs the risk of deposits and substances gathering on the surface of the lens and causing your eyes to get irritated.
If your optometrist tells you to dispose of your contacts after a single use, it’s in your best interest to follow their advice. Also, most disposable contact lenses can only be worn for around eight hours a day, while some like Alcon’s TOTAL1 can be worn for up to 16 hours without any discomfort.
3. Putting in your lenses after wearing makeup
The last thing you’d want when getting ready for a big night out is to accidentally smudge some eye shadow on your contact lens. Not only would you have to open another pack and throw away the dirty lens, you’ll probably infect your eye if you decide to YOLO it and put the ruined contact on anyway.
Avoid this faux pas by putting on your contacts before applying your makeup. Not only will you not have to struggle to see your brush strokes in the mirror, you also minimize the risk of any particles going in between your eye and the contact lens.
4. Sleeping with your contacts in cause you’re too lazy to take them out
Few things are as tempting as the cosy comfort of your bed after an arduous day hunched over the computer. But if you want to protect your precious eyes, you’d want to take a minute to remove your contact lenses before hitting the sack.
Your cornea needs to stay hydrated and have a good flow of oxygen, two things which are slightly restricted already when you put on a pair of contacts. When you sleep and your eyes are closed, this further cuts off the oxygen and moisture your eyes so dearly need, which can lead to your cornea losing much of its ability to fight off bacterial infections.
5. Showering with your contact lens
Just because the water that comes from our pipes is considered clean and drinkable doesn’t mean that it’s sterile. And like how you shouldn’t ever handle contact lenses with wet hands and fingers, you should also keep them away from the shower.
It’s important to build up the habit of removing your contacts before stepping under your rain shower or even washing your face. The same goes for water-based activities like swimming or wakeboarding where the water there can be riddled with bacteria and god-knows-what – you wouldn’t want to end up as another case study in a medical journal.
6. Keeping your contact lenses in the bathroom
The most convenient location to keep your contact lenses is in the bathroom by your mirror and sink, but with all the germs lurking in every corner, it’s also one of the dirtiest places to store something you’ll put on your eyes. Not to mention that your bathroom is a breeding ground for bacteria with all the dampness and humidity.
You’re better off putting your contact lenses by your vanity, or storing them in a dry place and only bringing your dailies to the bathroom when you’re putting them on every morning.
7. Cleaning your contact lens with tap water
The only type of liquid you should be using to clean your contacts and your contact lens case is the disinfecting solution that your optometrist has recommended. Even if you might have processed your tap water with a water dispenser, it’s still not as sterile and fresh as saline solution can be.
You’d also want to change out the solution in your case every time you use your contacts; you wouldn’t want to mix new and old solutions similar to how you wouldn’t shower in used bathwater.
8. Using the same contact lens case for years
It can be hard to let go of that cute Rilakkuma contact lens case that has seen you through many years. But even if you religiously clean it with a sterile disinfecting solution, the anti-bacterial layers will still wear off and you’ll eventually have to replace it with a new case.
A set of cases on Shopee or Qoo10 will set you back for less than a fast food meal, and it’s something that can last you a few months. If you’d rather not have to worry about both your contacts and the case, a more convenient option would be to just opt for daily contact lenses that are low-maintenance.
Similarly, you shouldn’t use contact lenses that have already shot past their expiry date. Annual eye checkups with your neighbourhood optometrist will ensure that you’ll always be able to see in crystal clear vision, and they’ll also be able to detect if you have any eye-related diseases that require immediate attention to stymie ASAP.
Mistakes commonly made when wearing contact lenses
It’s easy to make mistakes wearing your contact lenses whether you’ve been wearing them for your entire life or you’re new to perfect vision without spectacles. This can cause irritation, discomfort or dry eyes. But you can mitigate these issues by switching to using dailies like Alcon’s TOTAL1 contact lenses.
TOTAL1 is the first contact lens with water gradient technology that creates a lubricating cushion of moisture on the surface of the lens so you can wear them for longer – up to 16 hours – without your eyes feeling as dry as a desert.
Also included in the thin lens is a technology called SmarTears that is supposed to stabilise the pre-lens lipid layer and reduce tear evaporation. No, this doesn’t mean that you’ll “cry less”. In fact, tears are essential in keeping your eyes lubricated and prevents dry eyes from happening.
Image credit: Alcon
What’s more, you will accumulate one stamp towards the TOTAL1 VIP Program with each box purchased; collecting four stamps gets you a $15 shopping voucher, and nine stamps gets you a free box of contact lenses. This way you won’t feel as much of a pinch buying disposable daily contact lenses on the regular.
This post was brought to you by Alcon.