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Contact lenses are like underwear


Contact lenses are like underwear: don’t wear them too much, avoid that sketchy pair and pack a spare.

Don’t wear them too much: Replace contact lenses as often as your eye doctor tells you and don’t sleep in them unless your eye doctor approves it. Sleeping while wearing contact lenses is a common cause of painful red infections.

Avoid this sketchy pair: Never buy contact lenses from a source that doesn’t require a prescription. If a disposable contact comes out and you can’t disinfect it with a fresh solution right away, throw it out. Better to pay the price for a new contact than to risk infection.

Bring a spare pair (of glasses): If you need to remove your contact lenses for an unexpected late night, a trip to the pool, or if a lens comes out, have a pair of glasses on hand.

Pay attention to the way you clean and store your contacts. Bottled drinking water is not sterile and contains microorganisms that can contaminate lens cases and contacts and cause eye infections.

Who is least likely to consistently practice good contact lens hygiene? Teens and college students. This puts them at an increased risk of painful eye infections. Make sure they see their eye doctor every year.

Ann Cochran, health navigation coordinator in the Dallas County Department of Public Health.