*This article was last updated July 2021.
Almost 45 million Americans wear contact lenses on a regular basis and nearly 90 percent wear soft contact lenses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention External Site (CDC). Contact lenses can be a safe and effective way to see clearly, but they may also increase your chances of getting an eye infection. A whopping 99 percent External Site of contact lens wearers cop to at least one bad eye-hygiene habit. Chances are pretty good that you have a number of contact-lens-wearing employees who could benefit from a few helpful reminders on proper care.
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Tips for cleaning and maintaining your contact lenses
The CDC shares these 11 tips for safe contact lens use External Site to make healthy habits a priority.
- Every time you go to touch your contact lenses, wash your hands with soap and water and dry them well with a clean cloth.
- Don't sleep in your contact lenses unless prescribed by your eye doctor.
- Keep water away from your contact lenses. Avoid showering in contact lenses, and remove them before using a hot tub or swimming.
- Keep a backup pair of glasses on-hand, just in case you need to take out your contacts.
- Schedule a yearly exam with your eye doctor to check your overall eye health and prescription strength. Many times, this exam is covered under your health plan.
- Rub and rinse your contact lenses with contact lens disinfecting solution — never water or saliva — to clean them each time you remove them. Store upside down with the caps off after each use.
- Never store your contact lenses in water.
- Replace your contact lenses as often as recommended by your eye doctor.
- Replace your contact lens case at least once every three months.
- Don’t “top off” solution. Use only fresh contact lens disinfecting solution in your case — never mix fresh solution with old or used solution.
- Use only the contact lens solution recommended by your eye doctor.
You can also find downloadable posters and more to share with your employees here External Site, created by the CDC for Contact Lens Health Week.
As always, if your employees have any questions regarding contact lens care, encourage them to contact their professional eye care provider.
The clear choice
Did you know? Wellmark offers Avesis Vision coverage, which can be bundled with your company's medical benefits. Featuring strong networks in Iowa and South Dakota and flexibility of benefits you won’t find anywhere else, these affordable premiums pack maximum value (including discounts on lenses, frames and other services). Contact your Wellmark representative to learn more, or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org Send Email.
Avesis Vision is an independent vision insurance company that does not provide Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield products and services. Avesis Vision is underwritten by Fidelity Security Life Insurance Company, Kansas City, Missouri.