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contact lenses

As a contact lens wearer, you probably choose them over your glasses for sharper vision – especially if you have an active lifestyle. You may even dread the thought of having to leave your contacts at home when you visit the pool or your friend’s hot tub oasis – having to remember your glasses when leaving the house, not seeing clearly when you take them off, the constant need to wipe your lenses due to pesky chlorine spots. But we are here to tell you that these are all minor inconveniences when compared to the alternative – a Corneal Ulcer that may develop from wearing your contact lenses swimming.

Topcon’s (r) specialized slit lamp camera allows our doctors to photograph and monitor corneal ulcers

This cautionary tale in meant to save you many trips to the eye doctor and, worst case scenario, permanent vision loss. Hot tubs and pools are breeding grounds for acanthamoeba – and they do not mix well with contacts. If present in the water, the bacteria can increase the risk of you contracting a serious condition known as acanthamoeba keratitis. Non-contact lens wearers can develop this condition, but it is more prevalent in those who wear contacts.

The symptoms associated with this condition include: redness in the affected eye, blurred vision, feeling of a foreign body in the eye, and light sensitivity. If you experience any of these symptoms after exposure to the pool and/or hot tub water (especially if you are a contact lens wearer) you should contact our office at 732-774-5566. Schedule an appointment to meet with one of our eye doctors and get appropriate treatment as soon as possible.

Following these guidelines will ensure safe and comfortable results while wearing your lenses – I bet there is at least one thing on the list that is new to you!

  • Do not over-wear your lenses. You may save money in the short term, but wearing them for longer than the prescribed time can lead to infections or other eye conditions.
  • Do not wear lenses if your eyes are red, irritated, teary, painful, light sensitive, or if you have sudden blurred vision or discharge. If these symptoms don’t clear up in a few days, see your optometrist.
  • Do not handle lenses with dirty hands.
  • Do not use saliva to wet or clean your lenses. The mouth is full of bacteria that can be harmful to the eyes.
  • Never use tap water to rinse or soak soft lenses. Minerals and impurities can damage the lenses and can cause infections if absorbed through the eyes.
  • Do not store your soft lenses without solution. They will dry out quickly – multi-purpose solutions are safe to use on lenses for both rinsing and soaking.
  • Do not wear lenses without rinsing them first. The protein deposits loosened while soaking need to be cleaned from the lenses before you insert them.
  • Do not use anyone else’s contact lenses other than your own. Even if you have the same prescription, every lens fits differently. They can damage your eyes if not fitted properly – including colored contacts.
  • Do not swim with contact lenses. Chlorine and chemicals can ruin them, and there is a risk of severe infections due to bacteria and parasites that reside in pools and hot tubs.
  • Do not get makeup, hairspray, or other cosmetics on the lens. Use hairspray before inserting lenses, or close your eyes when using it. Wait to apply eye makeup until after inserting lenses.

Doctors Shah and Wiedeman fit and prescribe contact lenses that are perfect for your lifestyle.

Most people don’t realize that routine eye exams are important, regardless of your age or your physical health.

During a comprehensive eye exam, the doctors at Del Negro & Senft Eye Associates do much more than just determine your prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses. They also check your eyes for common eye diseases, assess how your eyes work together as a team, and evaluate your eyes as an indicator of your overall health.

Be proactive with your health by scheduling a routine eye exam. Often, eye physicians can detect chronic systemic diseases during an exam – such as high blood pressure and diabetes – before primary care doctors have the opportunity.Additionally, many serious eye conditions show no symptoms until it is too late:

  • Glaucoma, also known as “the silent thief,” causes no pain or noticeable change in vision during the early stages of the disease. It can strike at any age, and if left unchecked can lead to blindness.
  • Macular degeneration (loss of central vision) takes years to develop, but early signs can be discovered during a routine exam and then closely monitored.
  • Diabetic retinopathy is the name given to diabetes’ adverse affects on the blood vessels in the eye. In the United States, diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness among adults.

Staying current with your eye exams will not only help prevent serious eye conditions in the future, but can also reveal health problems that may otherwise go unnoticed. Call Del Negro & Senft Eye Associates today to schedule your routine checkup!