Contact lenses provide wearers the opportunity to see clearly and comfortably. At the same time, they create a risk of eye infection if not handled properly. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) wants contact wearers to start practicing better hygiene, and they'll be hosting an event on the subject through Facebook Live on Monday, August 20.
The Facebook Live talk kicks off Contact Lens Health Week, a collaboration between the CDC and the American Academy of Ophthalmology and American Academy of Optometry. This year's theme is "Healthy Habits Mean Healthy Eyes," and the online panel discussion will focus on the practices contact wearers should follow on a daily basis to protect their eyes—as well as which behaviors to avoid.
Allowing harmful microbes to enter your eyes through your contacts can lead to inflammation and infection, which is uncomfortable at best and threatening to your vision at worst. According to the CDC, you should always make sure to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before touching your eyes or lenses. Never expose your contacts to any fluids other than your cleaning solution, including water from a shower, pool, or hot tub. And, yes, falling asleep in your contacts really is as bad as your optometrist says it is: At night, your eyes become a more hospitable environment for bacteria, and a contact lens can basically act like a Petri dish.