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Can Fire Melt My Contacts Onto My Eye?

A piece of “common wisdom” that seems to be making the rounds these days is that you shouldn’t wear contact lenses at bonfires, barbecues or similar settings where fire may be present. The claim is that the extreme heat from the fire can cause the contact lenses to melt or fuse onto your eye, causing irreversible, total blindness. Our Albuquerque eye doctors are here to debunk this claim, and show you that you have nothing to fear from wearing contact lenses to your latest barbecue.

Rumors About Contact Lenses and Fire

Where did this piece of “common wisdom” come from, and how do we know it’s a myth?

As far as our eye care team can tell, this rumor was started on social media sometime in 2017, with a story about a young lady who stood close to a lit charcoal grill, looking at the coals for about 2-3 minutes. She then began experiencing pain in her eyes and, upon being taken to the hospital, was told that her contact lenses were melted to her eyes and she would be permanently blind.

Contact lenses are sterilized at temperatures of up to 250 degrees Fahrenheit, and dirty contact lenses that need to be cleaned or re-sterilized are often placed in boiling water.

Contact lenses can withstand boiling water without being destroyed. This means that the heat from the fire would have to boil away the tears in a person’s eyes before their contact lenses would even begin to sustain damage. For this to happen, you would have to be standing in the fire itself, and by then you would also have severe burns on your skin, and melted contacts may be only part (and perhaps the least part) of your concern.

At least 125 million people wear contact lenses worldwide. If normal grills and barbecues could melt contact lenses, contact lens wearers would be unable to operate or even approach household heaters, stoves, and a variety of other common heat sources without melting their lenses. Millions of cases of melted contact lenses would be reported each year. This is simply not the case.

So, obviously, contact lenses can’t melt to your eyes and cause permanent blindness because fire or other common heating sources simply don’t get hot enough for that. But is there any kernel of truth in this concern?

A Kernel of Truth? When Your Contacts Dry Out

Though it’s impossible for your contact lenses to be melted to your eye from being close to fire or another heating element, there is a very real way that you may feel like your contacts are temporarily stuck to your eye.

Being close to heat can potentially dry your contact lenses out, causing the to feel like they are stuck to your eye when you attempt to take them out. This can also result from air conditioning blowing directly into your eyes, extended time of computers and other digital screens, being outside in overly cold or dry weather, and many more things.

If your contacts feel like this sometimes, don’t worry! A drop or two of contact lens solution will help you safely take out your contact lenses without any ill effect.

Want to learn more about contact lenses and your eye health? Contact our Albuquerque eye doctors at Eyes of New Mexico Family Optometry and Contact Lenses today.

Myopia and Contact Lenses

Myopia, or nearsightedness, is a very common eye condition that causes a person to be unable to see objects clearly from a distance. This condition affects an estimated 30% of the world population today, and that number is projected to grow to as much as 50% by 2050.

But did you know that, beyond poor eyesight, myopia can also pose a long-term threat to your kid’s vision and eye health? Eye doctors warn that significant data points to a connection between myopia and development of potentially sight-threatening eye conditions, such as glaucoma and macular degeneration, later in life.

Fortunately, our Albuquerque eye doctors offer extensive pediatric eye care, including contact lenses meant to address myopia and stop or slow its progression. Want to know more about contact lenses for myopia? Take a look below!

Contacts That Can Help With Myopia

Finding the right type of contact lens to help your child with their myopia starts with a comprehensive eye exam with our local optometrist at Eyes of New Mexico Family Optometry and Contact Lenses. Once we’ve taken a look at your kid’s eyes, we’ll be able to assess how best to help.

 

Here are some of the most popular options available to help your child:

Orthokeratology (Ortho-k)

Ortho-k lenses are a special type of contacts that are worn at night, which gently reshape your cornea as you sleep. This allows you to wake up the next morning and enjoy improved vision for the whole day without further need for contacts or glasses.

Ortho-k lenses have also been shown to slow the progression of myopia in kids.

The daily effects of these lenses are temporary, so it is essential that they be worn every night to maximize their ability to improve your child’s vision, as well as slow their myopia progression significantly.

Bifocal and Multifocal Contact Lenses

Though primarily meant to treat vision problems associated with presbyopia, bifocal and multifocal lenses have proven to be effective also in slowing myopia progression.

Specifically, bifocal and multifocal lenses that have distance vision correction in the center and near vision correction on the sides have been shown to stop or significantly slow children’s myopia.

Unfortunately, there is no way to cure myopia. Glasses and contacts can help correct vision, but often don’t prevent vision from getting worse, leaving your child vulnerable to eye disease later in life. Find out more about how myopia management can change this, and preserve your child’s long-term vision and eye health.

Contact our Albuquerque eye doctors at Eyes of New Mexico Family Optometry and Contact Lenses today!

Q&A With Your Local Eye Doctor

Does myopia management work for adults?

Though myopia management is primarily effective in children, some research has shown that it can still be helpful for adults as well. Primary methods of adults myopia management include ortho-k lenses and multifocal glasses and contacts.

Can myopia cause blindness?

Most of the time myopia does not cause significant short-term vision loss beyond the characteristic nearsightedness. However, an extreme form of myopia, known as degenerative myopia, is a leading cause of legal blindness. Fortunately, it is quite rare, affecting only 2% of the population. Nonetheless, comprehensive eye exams are essential to ensure that myopia doesn’t cause significant vision loss.

5 Contact Lens Health Tips

Contact lenses are a convenient way to correct vision without glasses or LASIK surgery. To keep their eyes healthy, contact lens wearers should adopt a care regimen that involves regular rinsing, disinfecting and replacing their lenses when needed.

A contact lens exam and fitting session with Eyes of New Mexico Family Optometry and Contact Lenses in ​​Albuquerque will ensure that you receive the best lenses for you and your lifestyle. The eye doctor will also instruct you on how to clean and care for them.

The following tips are essential for healthy and safe contact lens use:

  1. Replace contact lenses as advised by your eye doctor
  2. Wash hands carefully before touching the lenses, either removing or inserting
  3. Only use the prescribed solution to rinse lenses
  4. Disinfect contact lenses as instructed by your eye doctor
  5. Schedule a contact lens exam and fitting
  6. Always attend your contact lens follow up exams, even if you are not experiencing any problems

Replace Contact Lenses as Instructed

It’s important to replace your contact lenses as directed by your eye doctor. The period of time you can wear your lenses before using new ones depends on the type of lenses you have:

  • Daily disposable lenses – one-time use
  • Bi-weekly disposable lenses – replace every two weeks or sooner
  • Monthly lenses – every month
  • Traditional (non-disposable) lenses – replace every 6 to 12 months, or as per your eye doctor‘s advice.

Inspect your lenses carefully. If they are showing signs of wear and tear, replace them sooner. Exceeding the maximum time frame for contact lens wear can increase the risk of eye irritation and infection, and may even damage your eyes to the point where you can no longer wear contact lenses.

Wash and Dry Hands Carefully Before Applying Contact Lenses

Teens and adults often lead active lives and it can be easy to skip important routines like washing your hands with soap and water and drying them thoroughly with a lint-free towel or paper towel before applying contact lenses. This step shouldn’t be ignored as unwashed fingers transmit germs onto the lenses, which can enter the eye and lead to serious eye damage and vision loss.

So make sure you use plain soap (and not heavily scented varieties that may contain irritants) and dry your fingers with a lint-free towel before inserting or removing your contacts.

Use Solution to Rinse Contact Lenses

Rinsing contact lenses properly keeps tiny particles of makeup residue and microbes from reaching your eye. Apply the solution generously and rub the lens in the palm of your hand.

Even if you are at school or work and feel you are in too much of a hurry to get your solution, do not use tap water to rinse your lenses. Tap water is teeming with minerals, impurities and microbes that can damage lenses, irritate your eyes and spread infection.

Disinfect Contact Lenses

Disinfecting contact lenses kills germs and pathogens that can cause eye infections. There are several products and methods for disinfecting:

  • Multipurpose solution
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Disinfecting devices

A multipurpose solution (MPS) can be used for routine rinsing as well as disinfecting. The procedure involves rinsing the lenses twice, placing them in a case filled with the multipurpose solution, letting the lenses soak, then rinsing them again before use.

The vast majority of eye doctors recommend an MPS for all disposable lenses

Hydrogen peroxide is a powerful disinfectant that should be used with care and only with a [neutralizer]. Rinse the lenses and place them in a special contact lens container, then dip them in the solution. A [neutralizer] may be built-in to special lens holders or is available in tablet form. After the solution has been [neutralized], you can rinse, dry, and wear the contact lenses.

Schedule a Contact Lens Exam, Fitting and Follow Up

To keep your eyes healthy and vision sharp, your contact lenses should be the right size and type to suit your vision requirements and lifestyle. A thorough contact lens exam and fitting are essential. Your eye doctor will perform a series of tests, including measurements of the cornea, iris and pupil, an evaluation of tear production and of the surface of your eyes.

A contact lens exam also includes questions about lifestyle and what kind of lenses you prefer. For instance, a teenager who is on a high school sports team may also need disposable lenses for road games and swim meets. The exam also involves a fitting session as well as follow-up exams to ensure the lenses do not cause irritation.

Follow up appointments are essential to allow the eye doctor to observe your eye health and make any adjustments to the lenses or your care regimen. It is essential to come to these exams, even if you are not experiencing any problems.

To schedule a contact lens exam, fitting or follow-up exam, contact us at Eyes of New Mexico Family Optometry and Contact Lenses in ​​Albuquerque. We serve patients of every age, from children to seniors. Book your appointment with Eyes of New Mexico Family Optometry and Contact Lenses today

At Eyes of New Mexico Family Optometry and Contact Lenses, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 505-806-1432 or book an appointment online to see one of our Albuquerque eye doctors.

Want to Learn More? Read on!

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Q&A

Why do my eyes feel dry when I wear contacts?

There are a few possible reasons your eyes may feel dry or irritated when wearing contacts. Your contacts may not be fitting properly or something may have entered into your eyes. There may also be an issue with your eyes and may be suffering from dry eye disease. It’s best to speak with your eye doctor and choose the optimal lens for ultimate comfort and hydration. If dry eye disease is diagnosed, your eye doctor will provide guidance and help you get the treatment you need for lasting relief.

Astigmatism


Astigmatism is a very common eye condition that's easily corrected with eyeglasses or contact lenses and on occasion, surgery.

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What is astigmatism?

Astigmatism occurs when your eye is not entirely round. In truth, astigmatism is present in almost everyone, but it only leads to blurred vision when severe.

Think of your eye as a spherical ball. Usually, when light enters your eye it bends evenly. This creates a sharp image of what you see on the tissues at the back of your inner eye. However, if you have astigmatism, your eye is shaped more like an elliptical football. As a result, the light is not bent evenly and only one part of the picture is transmitted clearly and in focus.

Diagnosis & Treatment by Your Eye Doctor in Albuquerque

If you experience problems with your vision, we invite you to book an eye exam at our Albuquerque office. Our optometrist will inspect your vision and eyes to make a precise diagnosis and determine the most effective treatment. At Eyes of New Mexico Family Optometry and Contact Lenses, our Albuquerque eye doctor is skilled and experienced in diagnosing and treating astigmatism, so that you experience crisp and clear vision.

What is a stigma?

Stigma refers to a type of refractive error known as astigmatism. There are three types of refractive error, myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. The former two are more regularly referred to as nearsighted (poor distance vision) and farsighted (poor close-up vision). Astigmatism is the third category that affects both near and far vision at the same time. Much like nearsightedness or farsightedness, astigmatism is corrected using glasses or contacts.

Technically speaking, an eye with astigmatism requires two different prescriptions to correct vision in one eye due to the oval shape of the cornea. This generally requires specialized contact lenses and a more comprehensive fitting procedure.

To learn more or to correct any vision issues, book an appointment at Eyes of New Mexico Family Optometry and Contact Lenses in Albuquerque today.

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Frequently Asked Questions - Vision Care

Q: How does astigmatism affect reading fluency?

  • A: Astigmatism can affect a child’s reading skills. If your child struggles to read, book an eye exam for your child today. Our eye doctors are here to help.

Q: What are Toric Contact Lenses?

  • A: Toric contact lenses are designed to correct astigmatism, and are custom-made for a perfect fit. Unlike standard contact lenses which are perfectly spherical, toric lenses have a more oblong shape made to accommodate the shape of the astigmatic eye. While toric lenses can be made of either soft or rigid gas permeable (RGP or GP) lens material, soft toric lenses are the more common choice.


Quality Designer Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses - Computer Glasses In Albuquerque, New Mexico. Visit Eyes of New Mexico Family Optometry and Contact Lenses for an eye exam and to find your perfect eyeglasses to match your style.

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CONTACT LENSES
in Albuquerque, New Mexico

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SEE COMFORTABLY & CLEARLY
WITH CONTACT LENSES

We are dedicated to ensuring you have the most comfortable and enjoyable contact lens-wearing experience possible. Our Eyes of New Mexico Family Optometry and Contact Lenses optometrists will evaluate your eye shape and prescription to help you determine the best option of contact lenses for your needs.

 

Our Recommended Products:

Biofinity® XR

Clariti™ 1-day Multifocal

MyDay®

Proclear® 1 day


All Brand Lines We Carry:
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BnL Contacts

Bausch + Lomb


Cooper Contacts

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JnJ Contacts

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A contact lens exam ensures the most up-to-date prescription and rules out any pre-existing conditions that could interfere with contact lens wear.

At Eyes of New Mexico Family Optometry and Contact Lenses we offer a wide selection of contact lenses including disposable soft contact, bifocal/multifocal, toric, and colored lenses.

Whether you wear daily, weekly or monthly disposables, or conventional (vial) lenses, check out our selection of lenses that fit your needs.

We will determine the best fitting lens based on your lifestyle needs and the shape and health of your eye, and will follow up the initial fitting making any necessary changes in fit or materials to get you the best possible fit.

We make sure to teach all our patients proper contact lens care and also possible consequences if proper care is not taken. Then we continue with long-term follow-up to monitor the condition of the lenses and to ensure that proper hygiene is being maintained.

MORE ON CONTACTS:

How Can I Find a Keratoconus Specialist?

If you’ve just been diagnosed with keratoconus or have a family history, you’ll want to find the best keratoconus specialist near you for your ongoing treatment.

Keratoconus Develops Rapidly

One of the differences between keratoconus and other eye diseases is how quickly it can progress. With an eye disease that changes often, it is important to find an eye doctor you feel comfortable with. Keratoconus requires an ongoing relationship with frequent appointments for best management.

An optometrist that specializes in diagnosing keratoconus and the treatment of keratoconus will often have special equipment allowing them to recognize keratoconus sooner than other optometry clinics.

Sometimes Develops in Families

While it is not known exactly what causes keratoconus, one factor is that it can sometimes be hereditary. If your family has a history of keratoconus, it is recommended to find an eye doctor near you that specializes in keratoconus for early detection. Keratoconus can start developing during the teenage years.

Treating Keratoconus

Treatment options for keratoconus may include eyeglasses or contact lenses, custom scleral contact lenses or custom rigid gas permeable lenses, Intacs, corneal collagen cross linking, and eye surgery or a cornea transplant.

In the early stages, patients are often fitted for glasses or contact lenses. The prescription may change often as the disease progresses.

Custom scleral contact lenses are often prescribed as they can be more comfortable for patients with keratoconus as they vault over the cornea of the eye. Patients with keratoconus have a cone-shaped cornea which may make it difficult to wear soft contact lenses. It can be helpful if the optometrist managing your keratoconus is also able to fit you for custom scleral contact lenses. Many patients that suffer from corneal eye diseases will find custom scleral contact lenses a good option.

If Intacs, corneal crosslinking, and/or cornea surgery or corneal transplants is recommended, your eye doctor will refer you to an ophthalmologist who specializes in the surgical treatment of keratoconus. Together, both eye doctors will develop an individualized treatment plan before and after the surgery and will co-manage the treatment of your keratoconus.

Keratoconus Specialists Stay Informed

Having a cornea eye specialist managing your keratoconus means they stay informed of the latest treatments and best practices for managing keratoconus.

When looking for a keratoconus specialist to treat your eye disease, find an eye doctor near you that:

  • You feel comfortable with,
  • Has the necessary equipment for early detection of keratoconus,
  • Can fit you with custom scleral contact lenses,
  • Works with an ophthalmologist specializing in keratoconus surgical options if your corneal disease progresses and requires surgery,
  • Regularly works with other keratoconus patients and specializes in the treatment of keratoconus.

Albuquerque Optometrists that Specialize in Keratoconus

The optometrists at Eyes of New Mexico Family Optometry and Contact Lenses in Albuquerque are specialists in treating keratoconus. If you or your family has a keratoconus diagnosis or you’d like to find out, book an appointment at our Albuquerque clinic. We’ll get started with an eye exam to see where we can improve vision and increase the comfort of your eyes.

The Importance of Eye Exams for Contact Lenses

Are you planning on wearing contact lenses for the first time? Do you need a new contact lens prescription? Are your current contacts not as comfortable as you wish they were? Your eye doctor will perform a contact lens eye exam to ensure that your vision with contacts is clear, comfortable, and safe, providing you with the right lenses for you. 

What is a contact lens exam?

If you wear or want to wear contact lenses, you’ll need an eye exam for contact lenses, in addition to your regular comprehensive eye exam. Special tests are performed during a contact lens exam to evaluate your eyes and vision with contacts. 

Are eyeglass prescriptions the same as contact lens prescriptions?

No, a prescription for glasses cannot be used for contact lenses. An eyeglass prescription is for lenses that are positioned approximately 12 millimeters from your eyes, whereas a contact lens prescription is measured for lenses that sit directly on the surface of your eye.

The prescription for contact lenses also includes the brand, lens diameter and curvature, which are not part of an eyeglass prescription.

Contact lenses fitting: One size does not fit all

One contact lens size doesn’t fit all eyes. If a contact lens is too flat or too steep for your corneal shape, you may experience discomfort or even eye damage. Your eye doctor will take certain measurements to determine the best contact lens design and fit for your eyes. 

Corneal curvature

This measures the curvature of your eye’s clear front surface (cornea) so the eye doctor can select the optimal curve and diameter for your contact lenses. If your eye’s surface is somewhat irregular because of astigmatism or other conditions, you may require a special lens. 

Pupil and iris size

The size of your pupil and iris (the colored part of your eye) is also important in determining the best contact lens design.

Tear film evaluation

This test evaluates the quality of your tears, to determine whether they will be able to keep contact lenses and your cornea sufficiently hydrated throughout the day. If you have dry eye disease, standard contact lenses may not be right for you. 

Trial lenses

Following the eye exam, you will be provided with trial lenses to verify that the chosen contact lenses offer clear and comfortable vision. This will allow the eye doctor to make any fine adjustments to the prescription.

Contact Lens Eye Exam Near You

Wearing the correct contact lenses for your eyes allows you to enjoy all of the benefits of wearing contacts, while keeping your eyes healthy and comfortable. 

If you’re already a contact lens wearer, visit your eye doctor at least once a year to make sure the lenses are still providing you with optimum vision and comfort.

Contact Eyes of New Mexico Family Optometry and Contact Lenses in Albuquerque to book your contact lens eye exam today!

New To Contact Lenses? Here Are Our Top 5 Tips!

For an estimated 56 million North Americans, contact lenses are the preferred form of vision correction. So if you’ve just started wearing contact lenses — you’re in good company.

Advice About Contact Lenses from Albuquerque Eye Doctor: our optometric team

Here are 5 tips to quickly help you adjust to wearing and caring for your new lenses so you can enjoy the many benefits they offer.

  1. Learn How to Tell if Your Contact Lens Is Inside Out

This is a common mistake many beginners make when inserting soft contacts. Place the lens on  your index fingertip and look carefully at its shape. The edge of the lens should be pointing upwards, like the rim of a teacup. If the edge is flared outward like a blooming flower, the lens is inside out.

Some contact lenses have tiny laser markings of numbers or letters. If the numbers/letters read correctly when you hold the lens on your fingertip, they are properly oriented and the lens is ready to be inserted.

  1. Never Use a Substitute for Contact Lens Solution

Your eye doctor will recommend the appropriate contact lens solution to suit your eyes and lenses. Some people have sensitivities and not all lens solutions are the same. 

Even if you run out of contact lens solution, don’t be tempted to rinse your lenses with water, and never use saliva to moisten or clean them.

Using substances other than the recommended contact lens solution to rinse or rewet your contacts can introduce harmful microbes to the eye and cause a serious infection. That’s why it’s best to remove your contacts before showering, swimming, or any other time they might get wet.

  1. If Your Contact Lenses Feel Uncomfortable, Take Them Out!

Some newcomers mistakenly think that if their contacts feel uncomfortable or gritty, they simply need to “get used to them.” Contact lenses are supposed to be comfortable, so if you are experiencing discomfort there may be something wrong.

With clean fingers, remove your contacts and rinse them, inside and out, with the solution or rewetting drops as recommended by your eye doctor. Dust or dirt could have gotten stuck between the lens and your eye, causing irritation. Flushing the lenses with contact lens solution will help remove the irritant.

If your eyes still feel irritated, don’t place the contact lenses back in your eyes. Instead, wait until they are no longer red or irritated, and try inserting them again. If the problem persists, contact your eye doctor.

  1. Wear Contact Lens-Friendly Makeup

Wearing makeup around the eyes can be a source of irritation and infection whether you wear contact lenses or not. Here’s what we recommend when it comes to eye makeup and contact lenses:

  • Choose hypoallergenic makeup.
  • If using a cream-based product around your eyes, choose a water-based formula instead of an oil-based one. 
  • Keep your eye closed during application to avoid makeup particles entering your eye. 
  • Don’t apply eyeliner or eyeshadow to the inner rims of your eyelids.
  • Replace eye makeup at least once every 3 months to minimize the growth and spread of bacteria.
  • Never share eye makeup with friends or family.
  • Remove your contact lenses before removing your makeup.
  1. Stick to the Hygiene Guidelines

We can’t emphasize this enough — always thoroughly wash and dry your hands before handling your contact lenses.

Try to avoid washing your hands with oily or heavily scented hand soaps, as they tend to cling to the surface of the lens and could irritate the eye. Additionally, if you touch moisturizers or lotions before handling your contact lenses you run the risk of some residual product adhering to the lens and clouding your vision.

After washing your hands, dry them using a lint-free towel. It’s harder to grasp contact lenses with wet hands, and — as mentioned above — lenses shouldn’t come into contact with tap water.

Bonus Tip: Get an Eye Exam

While all this advice can be very helpful, it doesn’t replace an in-person exam with your eye doctor.  Your eye doctor will advise you when to return for your next contact lens consultation. Following this schedule is the best way to ensure you can enjoy the freedom of contact lens wear.

If you are new to contact lenses (or not!) and have any questions or concerns about your eyes or vision, call 505-806-1432. Eyes of New Mexico Family Optometry and Contact Lenses will be happy to schedule you for a contact lens exam and fitting.

With the help of our optometric team, you’ll be an expert in contact lens wear and care in no time!

Don’t Do These 11 Things If You Wear Daily Disposable Contacts!

Countless people around the world wear daily disposable contact lenses or dailies. These popular single-use lenses are removed and discarded at the end of each day, and a new, fresh pair is inserted the next morning. Used properly, dailies promote eye health, and they’re comfortable and convenient.

 

Despite the many advantages associated with wearing daily disposables, there are plenty of ways you can damage your eyes and vision — some you may never have considered.  

 

1. Don’t Touch Contacts with Dirty Hands

Before touching your lenses, make sure to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.  By touching your contact lenses with dirty hands, you transfer bacteria to your lenses, which can lead to an infection. Preferably dry your hands with a disposable paper towel rather than a cloth towel, and ensure that no remnants of the towel remain on your fingers.

2. Don’t Expose Your Contacts to Water

Any source of water, whether tap, pool, or lake water, can change the shape of your lenses and cause micro-abrasions on your cornea. Plus, the water may contain bacteria that can wreak havoc on your eye health and cause you to experience temporary vision loss or even permanent blindness. 

If you must get in the water with your contacts on, make sure to wear waterproof goggles. If you do get water on your contact lenses, dispose of these lenses and insert a new pair. Exposing contact lenses to chemicals like chlorine binds to the lens and cannot be cleaned off. It then leeches onto the cornea and causes irritation.

The next time you’re tempted to swim or shower with your lenses on, think twice before doing so.

3. Don’t Reuse Your Contacts

Daily disposable contacts are designed to be thrown away after every single use, and people who reuse them risk painful and risky outcomes. Dailies are thinner, more fragile, and don’t hold moisture as well as other contacts. 

Users sometimes attempt to increase the lifespan of these lenses by cleaning them in a disinfecting solution and wearing them for several days or even weeks at a time. This is problematic, as the lens material doesn’t allow for repeated disinfecting. In fact, the process of cleaning the lenses tends to be not only ineffective but also breaks down the lens itself, increasing the risk of the lens falling apart while in the eye. The risk of complications and infection is not worth the few saved bucks.

4. Don’t Insert a Dropped Contact In Your Eye

One of the perks of daily lenses is that they are less expensive (per lens) than other types of contacts. So if you find yourself dropping a lens into the sink or on the floor, don’t bother placing it back in your eye. Doing so can cost you your eye health. 

5. Don’t Ever Put Contacts In Your Mouth

It seems like a funny concept, doesn’t it? You wouldn’t believe the number of people who do this. If you drop a contact lens, avoid rooting around the floor trying to find it, and if you do, definitely don’t put it in your mouth to lubricate it. Your mouth contains bacteria that can infect your eyes once you reinsert your contacts.

Play it safe by carrying around an emergency pair of glasses or an extra pair of daily disposable contacts in your bag, your car, or at work. 

6. Don’t Overwear Your Daily Lenses

Wearing your lenses for long periods of time can damage your eyes, even if they’re daily contacts. The maximum recommended daily use for any contact lens is 14-16 hours, though our optometric team will determine the exact number of hours you should wear your lenses. Your eyes, just like any other part of your body, need to rest. Your corneas receive oxygen from the air, not from blood vessels, and while it’s healthy to wear contacts during the day, wearing them for extended periods can significantly reduce the amount of oxygen your eyes receive, which can lead to complications. If you don’t give your eyes the rest they need, your corneas might get swollen, which can lead to corneal abrasion and even bacterial infection. 

7. Don’t Sleep With Your Lenses

Daily lenses should never be worn overnight. You’re risking your sight by sleeping in a lens that’s not approved for overnight use, as it can lead to ocular irritation, swelling and corneal ulcers. 

8. Don’t Insert Contacts Before Completing Your Morning Routine

Avoid inserting your contacts before you shower or wash your face, since you risk exposing your lenses to tap water and the bacteria that come with it. We also recommend that you insert your lenses after blow-drying and styling your hair, especially if you’re using hairspray or other aerosols, as these products can dry out your contacts. Additionally, the spray can coat the lenses and leave a film that not only irritates the eyes, but can make it difficult to see. If you’re at the hairdresser’s and cannot remove your lenses, shut your eyes when spray is applied.

9. Don’t Get Makeup On Your Contacts

Insert your contacts before applying makeup, because any makeup residue on your hands, such as mascara, can easily transfer to your lenses.

It’s not uncommon for people to get concealer, eyeliner or mascara on their contact lenses. If that happens, immediately remove the lens and clean the makeup with solution (while making sure to dispose of the lens before bed). Otherwise, simply replace with another lens. Avoid wearing waterproof makeup, since it can’t always be removed from your lenses, even when rinsed with solution. 

To prevent makeup from getting on your lenses, don’t apply mascara all the way from the base of your lashes up. Instead, apply it from the midway point. It’s also important not to apply eyeliner on the inner lid of your eye, but rather to the skin above your lashes. 

10. Don’t Wear Contact Lenses If Your Eyes Are Irritated

As the saying goes, “if in doubt – take them out!” If your eyes feel irritated, uncomfortable, or if you notice any pain or redness, don’t power through. If your symptoms last a while, contact our optometric team at Eyes of New Mexico Family Optometry and Contact Lenses. You don’t want to let a serious infection go unchecked.

When your eyes feel more rested and are free of discomfort, put in a fresh pair of contacts.  

11. Don’t Rub Your Eyes

If your eyes feel itchy or dry, or if a lens feels out of place, you may be tempted to rub your eyes. But rubbing, whether with contacts or without, can lead to long-term ocular issues. This may cause you to experience blurred vision, and may even damage your cornea. Instead, our optometric team can recommend eye drops to relieve any discomfort. Make sure to apply them only when contact lenses are removed. 

Above, we have delved into things you should never do with daily contact lenses. Fortunately, if you do make a mistake, you can remove the lens and replace it with a fresh one. The few dollars you might save by not opening a new pack aren’t worth the damage a mistake can cause. 

 

If you have any questions or are interested in finding out more about contact lenses, contact  Eyes of New Mexico Family Optometry and Contact Lenses in Albuquerque today. our optometric team will be happy to explain how to care for your eyes and maintain your vision. 

Coronavirus and Your Eyes – What You Should Know

As coronavirus (COVID-19) spreads around the world, health professionals are demanding that people limit their personal risk of contracting the virus by thoroughly washing their hands, practicing social distancing, and not touching their nose, mouth, or eyes. In fact, it may surprise you to learn that the eyes play an important role in spreading COVID-19. 

Coronavirus is transmitted from person to person through droplets that an infected person sneezes or coughs out. These droplets can easily enter your body through the mucous membranes on the face, such as your nose, mouth, and yes — your eyes. 

But First, What Is Coronavirus?

Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, causes mild to severe respiratory illness associated with fever, coughing, and shortness of breath. Symptoms typically appear within 2 weeks of exposure. Those with acute cases of the virus can develop pneumonia and other life-threatening complications. 

Here’s what you should know: 

Guard Your Eyes Against COVID-19 

  • Avoid rubbing your eyes. Although we all engage in this very normal habit, try to fight the urge to touch your eyes. If you absolutely must, first wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. 
  • Tears carry the virus. Touching tears or a surface where tears have fallen can spread coronavirus. Make sure to wash your hands after touching your eyes and throughout the day as well.
  • Disinfect surfaces. You can catch COVID-19 by touching an object or surface that has the virus on it, such as a door knob, and then touching your eyes. 

Coronavirus and Pink Eye

Pink eye, or conjunctivitis, refers to an inflammation of the membrane covering the front of the eyeball. Conjunctivitis is characterized by red, watery, and itchy eyes. Viral conjunctivitis is highly contagious and can be spread by coughing and sneezing, too.

According to a recent study in China, viral conjunctivitis may be a symptom of COVID-19. The study found conjunctival congestion in 9 of the 1,099 patients (0.8%) who were confirmed to have coronavirus. 

If you suspect you have pink eye, call your eye doctor in Albuquerque right away. Given the current coronavirus crisis, we ask patients to call prior to presenting themselves at the office of our optometric team, as it will allow the staff to assess your condition and adequately prepare for your visit.

Contact Lenses or Eyeglasses?

Many people who wear contact lenses are thinking about switching to eyeglasses for the time being to lower the threat of being infected with coronavirus.

Wearing glasses may provide an extra layer of protection if someone coughs on you; hopefully that infected droplet will hit the lens and not your eye. However, one must still be cautious, as the virus can reach the eyes from the exposed sides, tops and bottoms around your frames. Unlike specialized safety goggles, glasses are not considered a safe way to prevent coronavirus.

Contact Lenses and COVID-19

If you wear contacts, make sure to properly wash your hands prior to removing or inserting them. Consider ordering a 3 to 6 month supply of contact lenses and solution; some opticals provide home delivery of contact lenses and solutions. At this stage there is no recommendation to wear daily lenses over monthlies.

Don’t switch your contact lens brand or solution, unless approved by your optometrist or optician.

Regularly Disinfect Glasses 

Some viruses such as coronavirus, can remain on hard surfaces from several hours to days. This can then be transmitted to the wearer’s fingers and face. People who wear reading glasses for presbyopia should be even more careful, because they usually need to handle their glasses more often throughout the day, and older individuals tend to be more vulnerable to COVID-19 complications. Gently wash the lenses and frames with warm water and soap, and dry your eyeglasses using a microfiber cloth. 

Stock up on Eye Medicine

It’s a good idea to stock up on important medications, including eye meds, in order to get by in case you need to be quarantined or if supplies run short. This may not be possible for everyone due to insurance limitations. If you cannot stock up, make sure to request a refill as soon as you’re due and never wait until the last minute to contact your pharmacy. 

It is important that you continue to follow your doctor’s instructions for all medications.

Digital Devices and Eyestrain

At times like this, people tend to use digital devices more than usual. Take note of tiredness, sore eyes, blurry vision, double vision or headaches, which are symptoms of computer vision syndrome if they are exacerbated by extensive use of digital devices, and might indicate a need for a new prescription in the near future. This usually isn’t urgent, but if you’re unsure, you can call our eye doctor’s office.

Children and Digital Devices

During this time your children may end up watching TV and using computers, tablets and smartphones more frequently and for more extended periods too. Computer vision syndrome, mentioned above, can affect children as well. We recommend limiting screen time to a maximum of 2 hours per day for children, though it’s understandably difficult to control under the circumstances. 

Try to get your child to take a 10 to 15 minute break every hour, and stop all screen time for at least 60 minutes before sleep. 

Children and Outdoor Play

Please follow local guidelines and instructions regarding outdoor activities for your children. If possible, it’s actually good for visual development to spend 1-2 hours a day outside.

 

From all of us at Eyes of New Mexico Family Optometry and Contact Lenses in Albuquerque, we wish you good health and please stay safe.