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What do I need to know to safely use contact lenses?

A contact lens is a medical device and all contact lenses, even purely cosmetic ones, should be prescribed and properly fitted by a licensed eye care professional. You should never purchase or wear any contact lens not prescribed by an eye care professional. Buying contact lenses without a prescription can pose serious risk to your sight or eye health.

Soft contact lenses have a long history of providing wearers with a safe and effective form of vision correction when properly worn and cared for. However, research shows that many contact lens wearers do not follow instructions for virtually all steps involved in soft contact lens wear, including hand washing, case hygiene, lens disinfection and following the recommended lens replacement schedule.

By not following instructions on proper wear and care, contact lens wearers are more likely to experience discomfort and may put themselves at greater risk for infection or other serious complications, such as microbial keratitis,

Infections in contact lens wearers are often found among individuals who improperly store, handle, or disinfect their contacts. Cleaning and regularly changing your contact lens case is important because bacteria can grow in contact lens cases. Never rinse your lenses in water from the tap. Tap water contains many impurities that can contaminate or damage your lenses and may lead to serious eye infections and loss of vision. Also avoid rewetting your contact lenses with tap water or saliva.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.