The five basic rules for protecting your eyes when using contact lenses
Wash your hands often. It is, together with the regular use of masks and spacing, one of the three basic principles in time of Covid-19. Hand hygiene, however, should also be remembered for the protection of the eyes, which, as is well known, can become a "gateway" for the virus and which can be directly affected by the infection, manifesting conjunctivitis. So what to do if you use contact lenses? Here are some tips for safe use of these devices that come from the international scientific society Tear Film & Ocular Surface Society (TFOS).
Beware of dry eyes and more
On average, an adult produces 1-2 microliters of tears per minute every day, but at night the tear production stops. The constant production of tears is necessary because at least one third of the liquid produced evaporates.
The blink, which is repeated on average at least five times a minute, has the task of restoring the tear film. In some circumstances, however, this mechanism does not work smoothly. And discomfort such as the sensation of having something in the eye, eye itching, redness, or the various symptoms of dry eye may appear.
Dry eye is the most common discomfort encountered by lens and contact wearers who complain of the disconfort caused by the lens. This is a very frequent situation that can arise more easily as a result of the action of various elements such as exposure to sunlight, the dusty or otherwise polluted environment, the presence of air conditioning with a consequent drop in ambient humidity, windy days and prolonged exposure to the computer screen. This last element, in particular, today represents a key factor for the success of a contact lens, given that many people work daily for several hours at the PC.
Dry eyes can represent a heavy barrier to the regular use of contact lenses. This simple example is enough to understand how it is necessary to pay particular attention to contact lenses. "In recent months, over two and a half million contact lens wearers in Italy have rediscovered how important" compliance "is, that is, attention to those behaviors that are fundamental for the safe use of their devices for correcting vision defects. ”- is the comment by Fabrizio Zeri, Researcher and lecturer at the Department of Materials Sciences of the Bicocca University of Milan and Visiting Research Fellow of the School of Life and Health Sciences of Aston University. Also in this case, the focus is on washing hands properly before handling contact lenses. "
A dedicated campaign
To remember how essential hygiene is for contact lens wearers, the "Healthy Eyes in Your Hands" campaign takes off, an awareness project dedicated to contact lenses and their safe use, promoted by the international scientific society TFOS, leader in eye health education, and supported by ASSOTTICA Contactology group.
"Sometimes wearers have the perception of following correct behaviors for the safe use of contact lenses in their daily lives – underlines Stefano Barabino, Head of the Ocular Surface and Dry Eye Center of the L. Sacco Hospital in Milan and ambassador of TFOS. In reality, carelessness can be made that are very easy to avoid. Today it is essential to increase the sharing of these rules, to help contact lens wearers understand the benefits of appropriate behavior. "
The rules have also been summarized in the educational video “Healthy Eyes in Your Hands” in which children are the ones who give adults the indications of correct behavior. It involves washing and drying your hands before handling contact lenses, never letting the lenses come into contact with water, do not sleep with your contact lenses and disinfect them with a new solution after each use. If you wear disposable daily lenses, it is important to throw them away after taking them off and not reuse them. Then follow the manufacturer's instructions and the specialist's instructions.
Five rules to protect your eyes
1) Always wash and dry your hands before handling contact lenses.
2) Contact lenses must not come into contact with water.
3) Do not sleep with contact lenses unless otherwise indicated by the specialist.
4) Disinfect the contact lenses after each use with new solution. If you use daily replacement lenses, throw them away after each use. Follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer and the directions of the specialist.
5) Clean the lens case every day with a new solution and let it air dry facing down. Replace it every month.