As you get older, wearing glasses or contacts has become second nature for many of us, but just because it’s a habit doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take safety precautions with your eyes! The third week of August is Contact Lens Health Week, which is a great time to talk about how to keep your contact lenses safe.
Read on as a Saginaw, TX optometrist talks about this week and why contact lens care is so important.
History of Contact Lens Health Week
So how did this event find its beginnings?
It all started with a science fair project!
In 1920, American scientist Edward Jackson was doing research for his science fair project when he accidentally discovered that contact lenses could be used as an alternative to glasses and eye patches. He shared this discovery with Dr. Morton, his teacher, who then wrote an article about it for a medical journal.
The idea caught on like wildfire, and people began wearing contact lenses all over the place—even in movies! The first movie to feature actors wearing contact lenses was “The Mask” (1932). The star of this film was wrestler-turned-actor Lon Chaney Jr., who wore contact lenses so that his eyes would look like those of his character’s alter ego, “The Man of 1000 Faces.” It worked so well that other actors started wearing them too—including Humphrey Bogart in “Casablanca” (1942), Tyrone Power in “Blood and Sand” (1941), and John Wayne in “The Conqueror” (1956).
Healthy Habits for Contact Lens Hygiene
Did you know that there are some things you can do every day to help keep your contact lenses clean and healthy?
Here are some tips:
- Wash your hands before touching your lenses. This will help to prevent bacteria from building up on your fingers, which could then be transferred to your lenses when you handle them.
- Use a contact lens solution that has the right pH balance for your eyes. If the solution isn’t right for you, it’ll make your contacts more likely to get dirty and potentially cause more harm than good.
- Replace your case at least once a year, even if it doesn’t appear to be worn out or dirty—it’s easy to forget how much bacteria can accumulate over time!
- Always store your lenses in a clean case. If you wear contacts daily, consider buying multiple cases and rotating them so that each one gets used for about two weeks.
- Don’t wear your contacts for more than eight hours at a time. This will prevent your eyes from getting overly dry and uncomfortable. When you take out your lenses, use fresh contact lens solution to rinse them before putting them back in.
If you have more questions or wish to schedule an eye exam, feel free to call our Saginaw, TX optometry office anytime!