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3 Things Contact Lens Wearers Must Absolutely Do

Around the country, the number of Canadians with vision issues continues to rise. For instance, a study found that the risk of vision loss is increasing across the board despite 75% of these cases being preventable.

On top of this, according to a recent report on CMAJ Open, nearly 60% of people over the age of 20 require some form of vision correction. These factors are likely why the demand for corrective contact lenses remains high. Presently, PerfectLens estimates that almost four million people regularly use contact lenses with prescriptions.

Having said this, most people are familiar with the basic function of corrective contact. A popular alternative to prescription glasses, contact lenses are a more subtle ocular treatment.

However, while contacts are widely used, many wearers tend to be lax in terms of proper contact lens habits. Since contacts are applied directly to the eye, users need to know the absolute non-negotiable practices.


Follow the recommended replacement schedule

Many people mistakenly think that the replacement schedules for contact lenses are mere suggestions that can be ignored. This is especially true when a person is hesitant to dispose of a pair of favored contacts or if they don’t have any replacements on hand.

However, it’s vital not to extend the lifespan of contacts. Doing so can compromise the integrity of the lens and breed bacteria. This can result in anything from irritation to blurred vision.

If you struggle to keep up with regular contact replacements, try exploring other options with longer lifespans. Clearly offers contact lenses that include daily, weekly, and monthly variations. Unlike before, where it was mostly just single or bifocal lenses, now even multifocal, toric, and colored prescription lenses are available with different wear times.

Some lenses, like the CooperVision Biofinity Toric contacts, can even be used for up to three months. Of course, you can also opt to sign up for online contact lens auto refills or deal notifications so you can easily order new lenses.

Know how to discard your contacts properly

Compared to glasses made of non-recycled materials, which create about 70% plastic waste, as per Wolf & Badger, the environmental impact of contact lens disposal might be easy to ignore. However, given the number of people who use contacts, plus the frequency with which they need to be replaced, contacts must always be disposed of mindfully.

Avoid throwing your contacts down the drain, toilet, or regular trash cans. A report on CTV revealed that up to 290 million used contact lenses end up in Canada’s landfills and waterways. Since lenses are not biodegradable and instead are medical tools designed to survive daily wear and tear, you need to find ways to get them to recycling centers instead.

One easy way is to drop them off at optician clinics that participate in the Every Contact Counts initiative. This is led by TerraCycle and eyecare manufacturer Bausch + Lomb, which is known for products like the MIEBO eye drops.

In this program, used lenses and blister packs are sanitized and turned into other plastic-based items like benches and picnic tables. Currently, there are about 250 participating drop-off points around Canada, so there should be one near you.

Stick to your correct contact lens prescription

When people are in a rush, it’s easy to cut corners. In regards to contact lens prescriptions, this may result in using old exam results or glasses prescriptions. While this may seem like a way to save time and money, it will only cause bigger issues since contact lens prescriptions are sensitive.

Compared to eyeglasses, whose prescriptions may be good for up to two years, contact lens prescriptions change yearly. This is because they sit directly on the eye, so they also account for the curvature of the eyeball. Using prescriptions that are not meant for contacts or that are outdated can cause headaches, strain, and even worse vision.

To make getting your contact prescriptions easier, retailer Eyebuydirect suggests finding an optician online or via your primary physician. Doing so is more likely to get you recommendations near you or within your insurance network. This will make it more convenient and economical to get and use the right contact lens prescriptions.

For more like this, check out the rest of our health and lifestyle section.

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