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This is a great question and one that is often overlooked because we have become so comfortable wearing contact lenses. That being said, the issues most people run into are #1 over wearing lenses and #2 improper cleaning and care of the lenses and exposing lenses to tap water.

Regarding #1, it is good to give your eyes a break and wear glasses occasionally. Even if it is just for a few hours at night, your eyes will thank you. If you wear contacts too much or do not replace the lenses as prescribed, they become less breathable and deprive your eyes of oxygen. Dirty contacts expose your eyes to bacteria that cause an infection.

Now for #2, realize that tap water or pool/lake water is full of bacteria. Contact lenses are like sponges and soak up this bacteria constantly exposing your eyes to it which can cause infection. So, never rinse your contact lenses or your contact lens case with tap water.

In addition, always remember:

AVOID generic contact lens solutions as they increase chances of infection, allergic reactions, and most are not compatible with the newest contact lens materials. Do not “top-off” old solutions. This is like never changing the dish water when washing dishes. Replace your contact lens case at least every 3 months. See above! Do NOT wear contacts on a plane. At altitude and in pressurized cabins, there is less oxygen and contact lenses can reduce the eye’s ability to get enough!