An estimated 50 million people in North America wear contact lenses, precisely correcting their vision while offering ultimate flexibility to be physically active and look their best. Healthy eyes require good contact lens wear-and-care habits — yet sometimes adults and teens struggle to remember.
“People who love their contacts often have the best intentions to follow instructions from eye- care professionals. With so much else happening in their lives, it is possible to forget at times. That’s human nature,” says Dr. Rick Weisbarth, an optometrist and chairperson of the Washington, D.C.-based Contact Lens Institute.
These behaviors are consistent with recently-conducted YouGov research among 705 adults in the United States. It reveals that while about three in four people will read a new product’s instructions, problems arise if they are too difficult to understand, misplaced or users find themselves in a hurry. In another eye-opening finding, 58 percent of respondents admit to figuring out how to use a new product by trial-and-error.
Aided by these insights, the Contact Lens Institute has introduced The EASY Way (Eyes, Awareness, Safety and You), designed to streamline and simplify sometimes confusing contact lens wear-and-care guidelines. At the center of the program are three easy to recall steps for healthy, comfortable contact lens wear that everyone should know:
1. Think Clean.
Wash and dry your hands every time before touching your lenses or eyes. If you wear reusable lenses, always clean and disinfect them with each removal, and clean your case as directed. Keep your lenses and case away from any type of water, which can contain harmful microorganisms.
2. Remember: Fresher is Better.
Wear your contacts for as long as your eye-care professional says, replacing them with fresh lenses on schedule. Only wear daily disposable lenses once, and always rely on new solution for reusable lens disinfection and storage. Replace your case at least every three months.
3. Trust Your Eye Doctor.
Listen to your eye care professional, who has specialized training. If you have any questions, contact their office — they care about your health and great vision.
More information for contact lens wearers is available at EASYwayprogram.org/MyEyes/
“Taking care of your contacts doesn’t have to be hard; it can be easy. That’s why thousands of optometrists and ophthalmologists across the U.S. and Canada will be sharing The EASY Way with patients in the coming months,” says Dr. Weisbarth.
The Contact Lens Institute’s members include Alcon, Bausch + Lomb, CooperVision, and Johnson & Johnson Vision.
This article is opinion and not a substitute for professional advice. Disclaimer