Man Cleans ContactsHere’s a problem that’s almost completely preventable, and far more common than it should be: eye infections. Almost all of which are caused by improperly wearing contacts!

Yeah, you can get away with pushing the recommendations for contact wearing a little bit—sleeping in them occasionally, waiting a little longer to change to new ones, but you should limit how much you do that and try to follow as many recommendations as possible. Not doing so could result in an infection, and left unnoticed or untreated, further injury or blindness.

-First, be honest with your eye doctor about how you wear contacts. Some brands are safer to wear if you fall asleep in them, or are otherwise really hard on them. Most eye doctors are familiar with bad habits and will help you to be healthier, rather than chastize you.

-Next, give your eyes a break regularly. Sleeping in contacts should be a sometimes thing (if at all, and depending on what type you have). You should also pick a time—Sundays? Mornings while you read the paper? Evenings while you watch your favorite show? That are regular times for wearing glasses.

-Finally, keep your contacts clean—follow the directions your contact solution comes with, throw them out regularly, and pay attention for signs of being worn out. The plastic does wear out, especially with constant wear and irregular cleaning. You’ll notice the discomfort!

The CDC recommends:

-You should always wash your hands before touching your eyes or face—and that’s especially important to remember when touching your contacts, which go in your eyes!

-Don’t wear your contacts while you shower or swim. I think most people misunderstand this recommendation—yeah, you could lose one if water flushes it out of your eye, but far worse, you’re at a greater risk for getting infected with an amoeba when you have your contacts in.

-Always change your contact solution so it’s clean and fresh. Change your contact case too, either at regular intervals (at least every three months) or sooner, if it looks dirty.

-Give yourself immune support so your body can fight off eye infections. Because eyes can be tricky, double up if you feel discomfort (for example, make-up, mucus-y colds, and frequent touching can cause styes) or notice pink or redness.

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