Not all time-saving tactics are created equal: Many people cut corners when it comes to caring for their contacts—and some of these behaviors could trigger infections or worse. Glenda Secor, OD, spokesperson for the American Optometric Association, opens your eyes to three common unsightly practices.
Bad Habit #1: Wearing your lenses to bed
The Risk: High
Unless you have contacts that are FDA approved for overnight wear—like Acuvue Oasys and Air Optix—take them out before dozing off. Otherwise, you could contract an eye infection or experience irritation, says Secor. Unlike extended-wear lenses, daywear contacts are made out of a less-flexible plastic and don't let as much oxygen into your eyes.
Bad Habit #2: Using saline solution to clean your case
The Risk: Medium
Lens cases are breeding grounds for bacteria, which attach to the plastic. Even more problematic is that many people often wash them with water, introducing additional microorganisms. Experts recommend rinsing your case after each use with a multipurpose solution—not saline—and leaving it open to air-dry. And be sure to replace it every three months.
Bad Habit #3: Using two-week contacts for a month
The Risk: Medium-HighSure, it's tempting to try to stretch a few more days (or weeks) of use out of your lenses. But contacts are only tested—and approved by the FDA—for wear for a specific length of time, explains Secor. Disregard those parameters and you risk accumulating bacteria and biofilm on the lenses, which could cause an infection.