We’re celebrating Contact Lens Health Week! Many seniors turn to contact lenses for vision correction. They are among the safest forms of vision correction. Deterioration of eyesight is a natural part of aging, but by following the proper steps for care and replacement, contact lenses can keep the eyes healthy. There are a few things to keep in mind when using contact lenses regularly.
- Practice appropriate hygiene for your hands when using the lenses
- Follow manufacturer’s safety recommendations
- See an eye doctor for regular checkups and instructions
If contact lenses and cleaning solutions are not used as directed, it could result in damage to the eyes. Proper hygiene must be maintained, even if the contacts are not used daily. Contact lenses and their solutions are medical devices that are regulated by the FDA. Safety recommendations from the manufacturer or an eye doctor should be adhered to strictly.
- Clean and safe handling of contact lenses is of the utmost importance. The eyes can be kept healthy by practicing good hygiene. Optometrists will provide precise instructions to seniors, such as a cleaning schedule and how to handle the lenses. A specific type of case is required for storing contact lenses, and it should be replaced every three months or sooner. The case should also be cleaned between uses.
- Contact lens solution doesn’t last forever. It must be changed according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, even if the lenses are not used daily. Under no circumstances should old solution be re-used. Patients should use only the products recommended by the optometrist.
- A senior’s optometrist or ophthalmologist will have the best information regarding contact lenses and theirs are the only directions that should be followed. It’s very important that the senior learn how to safely clean and handle the lenses and avoid potentially eye-damaging situations. Contact lenses may not be a good choice for a senior who is experiencing cognitive decline and cannot follow, or remember, instructions.
- Eye doctors will not only prescribe the lenses, but will also provide a contact lens replacement schedule. Seniors should be encouraged to regularly follow up with their eye doctor for both lens and eye examinations.
In some cases, a senior may be more anxious than excited to try contact lenses, especially if they have worn glasses all their lives, or never needed eye correction. The most important thing is to point out the advantages of contacts and then let the senior make their own decision. Seeing clearly is key for an active life.