by Richard Ackman, Contact Lens Specialist
1. You don't wash your hands before handling your lenses. Hand washing is the most important step in keeping your contact lenses and eyes healthy.
2. You don't completely replace yesterday's contact solution. Instead, you leave the old liquid in the little bowls and top it off with a squirt of fresh solution. You're not alone in this offense. Of the 1,000 contact wearers polled for a recent study conducted by Wakefield Research for Alcon, 96 percent admitted to frequently reusing or topping off old solution.
3. You skip the rub. After you take out your contacts, before plopping in that super fresh, filled-to-the brim solution, give them each a little five-second rub between your fingers.
4. You don't rinse your lens case. Each day, dump out the used solution, rinse the case and lids with contact solution or warm/hot water. Then store the case with its caps removed.
5. You pop your contact lens in your mouth when if falls out. Just about every contact wearer has been there: Your lens falls out while you're away from home. It's a tricky problem if you don't have solution, a spare lens or a pair of glasses nearby.
6. You use generic contact lens solutions. The generic versions aren't formulated with today's contact lens materials in mind, many of these generic solutions were formulated decades ago. Talk with your doctor to identify which solution works best with your specific lenses. If your solution isn't compatible, you may end up with dry, red, itchy eyes or contacts that don't last as long.
7. You wear a pair of contacts for a longer amount of time than you should. Although contacts are prescribed medical devices, 84 percent of the participants in the Alcon poll said they wear their contacts longer than the recommended time. Whether it's every day or after 10 wears, replace your contacts as frequently as your doctor tells you to avoid irritated, possibly infected, eyes.