19.03.2012

Take care with contact lenses near water

Take care with contact lenses near water

By Alexa Kaczka

Contact lens wearers must observe eye hygiene when in close proximity to water, it has been underlined.

One expert has warned that as the summer approaches, and more people get in the mood for swimming and water sport, they should ensure they know the best approach with their contact lenses.

Maine Corneal Specialist Ravi Shah, of Eyecare Medical Group in Portland, noted that many patients often ask if they can wear their contact lenses while in a pool, a hot tub or a shower.

However, he noted: "This is not a good idea and can significantly increase the safety risks of contact lens wear."

The expert warned that people who allow their contact lenses to come into contact with water could be risking Acanthamoeba Keratitis, which is caused by an organism present in all forms of impure water.

"Acanthamoeba, and certain forms of bacteria present in water, can become attached to the contact lenses, possibly resulting in an infection," warned Dr Shah.

This means that contact lens wearers should wait until after showering to insert the eyewear, and if they accidentally enter the shower with them in, to firmly close their eyes.

In a similar vein, if the eyewear is accidentally inserted while in the bath or a hot tub, the individual should take pains to ensure water is not splashed into their eyes.

If eyes are exposure to water, it is a good idea to use a lubricating drop to help loosen the lens on the eye before removing it with clean dry hands. The lens can then be cleaned and disinfected or discarded.

What's more, if contact lenses were removed before getting into a hot tub, it is essential to properly clean and disinfect them before being re-inserted.

Furthermore, users should never sleep in contact lenses that have been exposed to water without first cleaning and disinfecting it.

by Adrian Galbreth


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