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When to toss the case for your contact lenses

Follow these safety tips to protect your lenses—and your eyes

Published: June 03, 2015 04:00 PM

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If your contact lenses case is cracked or otherwise damaged, replace it immediately. Otherwise, if you’ve had the case more than three months, it’s time for a new one. Lens cases can harbor germs and timely replacement lowers the risk of eye problems.

Replacing the case regularly could help protect your eyes from keratitis, a painful condition that leads to about 1 million doctor visits every year. Keratitis can cause ulcers on the cornea or even vision loss, and can occur when your cornea is injured and becomes vulnerable to infection from a virus or bacteria, fungi, or parasites in water.

To protect your lenses—and your eyes—change your contact lenses on schedule. (Tip: Write the date on the bottom with a marker.) And never wear them in the shower or pool, or overnight.  

The American Academy of Ophthamology also recommends the following safety measures:

  • Before handling your contacts always wash your hands with soap and water.
  • Do not rinse lenses with water or store them in water. Always use the storage method and cleaning solution recommended by your eye-care professional.
  • After putting lenses in, rinse the case with fresh solution (do not use water), and leave the case open so that it air dries.

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