If your vision is less than perfect and need to wear prescription eyewear to correct it, at one point or another you’ve probably thought about replacing your glasses with contact lenses. Truth be told, you’re not alone. In fact, over 30 million people in the U.S. alone wear contacts of one type or another. And there are plenty of reasons to prefer them over of glasses, ranging from aesthetics to job concerns. So whether you’re considering wearing contact lenses in the future or already wear them and have done so for years, there are a few things you should keep in mind about them.
A Do, A Don’t, A Myth, and A Fact About Contact Lenses
Myth: A contact lens can get stuck behind your eyeball.
Although its seems plausible enough, a quick search of eye anatomy reveals that a membrane known as the conjunctiva covers the white of the eye and also connects to the inside of the eyelid, itself. Thanks to that membrane, there is no danger of losing a lens behind your eye.
Fact: Contacts have been around longer than you think – over 80 years, in fact!
Believe it or not, soft contact lenses were first made available to the public here in the U.S. in 1971, but hard contacts were being produced back in the late 1930’s.
Do: Clean your contact lenses – it’s good for your eyes!
The longer you continuously wear the same set of contacts, the more prone your eyes are to an infection. Always wash your hands with soap and water before handling your contacts, and take them out if you can before you go to bed or go swimming. Even with lenses designed for extended wear, you should pull them out and clean them before sleeping. Not only does it give your eyes a rest (when they’re looking at anything, anyway), it helps prolong the lenses’ quality over their prescribed lifetime, as well.
Don’t: You should never use plain water or saliva to clean your contact lenses.
Use only fresh, non-expired cleaning solution when sterilizing your lenses. Using old solution (or mixing old with new) can actually lead to painful eye infections. Also, remember to only use the cleaning solution to rinse your lens storage case, too – no water allowed in there, either!