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Are Contact Lenses Safe for Teens?

Blog-ImageYour teen has a lot going on in their lives.  From schoolwork and sports to hanging out with friends, it seems as though every teenager’s schedule is jam-packed.  So it’s no wonder that teens aren’t always conscientious about taking care of their contact lenses.

Yet neglecting contact lens care can pose a serious hazard to your teen’s health.  Dirty lenses can raise the risk for serious eye infections; in some severe cases, corneal ulcers can occur, which can permanently ruin the vision.

If you want to keep your teen’s eye health safe – not to mention instill good habits! – here are a few hygienic practices you can teach him or her:

  • Emphasize that contact lens cases should be replaced every three months. Contact lens cases can become dirty and grimy over time, which can increase the likelihood for eye infections.  In fact, studies have shown that keeping a contact lens case for six months or more can increase the risk for eye infections by 5.5 times.
  • Teach your teen that going in the water with contact lenses can put their vision at risk. Unclean tap water can be a breeding ground for parasites, which can cause severe and even blinding eye infections.
  • Sleeping in contact lenses might be tempting for a tired teen, but teach your child to resist. Sleeping in lenses can increase eye infection risks by 6.5 times.  This habit is common amongst teens, so ensure that your child regularly takes out his or her contact lenses before going to bed at night.
  • Instruct your child as to what the symptoms of eye infections are so that he or she can get help right away. Redness, sensitivity to light, pain, and watery eyes could indicate that your teen has an eye infection.  Make an appointment with an ophthalmologist right away should your teen have any of these symptoms.

Regular eye examinations can ensure that your teen’s eyes remain healthy.  For expert care, schedule an appointment with Dr. Jacqueline Griffiths at NewView Eye Center in Reston, Virginia.  NewView Eye Center serves the greater Washington, DC metro area.