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Back-to-School Eye Tips

With the new school year about to start, now is the time to remind our students who wear contact lenses how to prevent serious eye problems.

Teenagers are notoriously poor at caring for their contact lenses. These lapses increase the risk of serious infections which can lead to vision loss and rarely, blindness. Nearly 25 percent of children’s emergency room visits related to medical devices involve contact lenses, with the worst cases requiring corneal transplants.

Young people who wear contact lenses can protect their eyesight by following simple contact lens care guidelines and safety tips:

A new case for a new quarter – Every three months, swap your contact lens case for a new one to keep it as germ-free as possible. Doing it at the start of each school quarter makes it easier to remember.

Say no to H20 – The only liquid that goes in your eyes should be sterile contact lens solution. The parasite Acanthamoeba, which can cause severe eye infections, is often found in tap water, bottled water and even chlorinated swimming pools. Remove contact lenses before swimming, showering or going in a hot tub to reduce the risk of eye damage.

You snooze, you lose – Even lenses that have been FDA-approved for extended wear have been shown to increase the risk of developing serious corneal infections. Always take out your contacts before bed.

Don’t wait until it’s too late – If your eyes show signs of infection such as redness, pain and/or light sensitivity, remove your lenses immediately. Schedule an exam by your eye care provider urgently. If unavailable, go to an Emergency Room or urgent care facility. Waiting to get examined and treated could lead to vision loss. Always have a pair of glasses with your current prescription just in case you need to be out of your lenses.

August 22, 2016