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Find “Corneas Eaten By Amoeba” Horrifying? 20 Top Safety Tips For Every Contact Lens Wearer

Find “Corneas Eaten By Amoeba” Horrifying? 20 Top Safety Tips For Every Contact Lens Wearer

In a horrifying story broken earlier this summer, a Taiwanese woman was discovered to have had amoeba eat through her corneas because she was not careful enough when wearing her contact lenses. The 23 year old student wore her contacts for six months straight and while swimming. Though this is incredibly rare, it creates the perfect opportunity for all of us contact wearers in the world to reevaluate our own contact wearing practices and to reeducate ourselves on how to keep our contacts, and therefore our eyes, clean and sanitary.

Contacts are great: they prevent us from having to wear glasses, they’re disposable, they only take a few seconds to put in every morning, and when you’re traveling, they’re tiny and very portable. But for all the good contacts do, they can also be hazardous. I wear contacts every day, and I didn’t even know most of this stuff.

What you should do:

1. Follow your doctor’s orders.

Once you get your contact prescription from your optometrist, you should make sure you follow his or her wearing instructions. Some contacts are meant to be worn for only one day, while other can be worn during the day for two weeks or more. Some special kinds of contacts can be worn overnight. Make sure you check with your doctor to make sure you’re only wearing them when you should be.

2. Wash your hands before touching them.

This sounds like a no-brainer, but on busy mornings it can be easy to forget. Your hands harbor tons of germs that could potentially infect your eyes, so make sure you wash your hands before handling your contacts.

3. Store them in clean solution.

Each night, store your contacts in fresh solution to ensure that they’re being properly cleaned. If they sit in the same solution for too long, they could begin to be compromised.

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4. Clean them thoroughly.

Every morning before you put your contacts in, use your fingers and fresh solution to clean them. This will prevent germs and other unwelcome things from being transferred to your eyes.

5. Keep up with prescription changes.

It’s important that you wear contacts that are your current prescription. If you feel your prescription has changed, contact your optometrist to discuss ordering new contacts.

6. Regularly replace your contact case.

Even if you do replace the solution every night, your contact lens case can still get dirty and unsanitary. Make sure you buy a new one regularly to prevent problems. Most contact solutions come with a free contact lens case inside the box, so check that before buying a new case by itself.

7. Take out your contacts when you need to.

If your contacts are scratchy or uncomfortable, take them out. If they feel bad, they must not be good for your eyes, so don’t try to suffer through for the sake of looks or convenience.

8. Let your contact lens case air dry.

After cleaning your contact lens case, don’t try to wipe it dry using a towel or a paper product. These can leave small traces of dirt, cloth, germs, and other materials in the case, which can then get on your contact lenses. Set the case out and let it air dry instead.

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9. Take a day off every once in a while.

Contacts are great, but sometimes your eyes need a chance to rest. Every so often, go a day without them to allow your eyes a chance to breathe.

10. Wear sunglasses.

Some people experience more light sensitivity when wearing contacts, so make sure you’re properly protecting your eyes when outdoors with sunglasses or a hat with a bill.

What you should not do:

11. Don’t spit on your contacts.

A lot of people use their saliva in lieu of contact solution, and this is a really bad idea. Your mouth harbors tons of germs that could possibly infect your eyes. Don’t use anything other than contact solution.

12. Don’t go swimming with your contacts in.

The main contributing factor to the Taiwanese woman’s problem, which ultimately led to total blindness in both eyes, was that she went swimming with her contacts in. This can let in all sorts of germs and amoeba into the eye, which can attach to the contact and do major damage.

13. Don’t share contacts.

You never know what kinds of eye problems other people have, so never use anyone’s contact lenses other than your own. Harmful germs and diseases can be spread this way, such as pink eye.

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14. Don’t shower while wearing contacts.

Just as swimming pools and lakes can harbor amoeba, so can shower water. Take your contacts out before hopping in the shower to wash.

15. Don’t sleep in your contacts.

This is a bad idea for several reasons. First, your eyes need to breathe and contacts don’t allow them to do so. Taking them out gives your eyes a break. This also severely dries the contacts out. In the morning when you open your eyes, you run the risk of scratching your corneas because of the dry contacts scraping across them.

16. Don’t wear them if you have an eye infection.

Not only can this exacerbate your eye problem, but it can also make it possible for the infection to transfer to the contact, thus making it impossible to recover even when taking medicine.

17. Don’t wear contacts in dusty environments.

This will only irritate your eyes and make it easy for any possible germs to be trapped between your contact lens and your eyeball, thus making it easy for them to do harm.

18. Don’t wear them if they’re torn.

A tear in your contact can scratch your eye, which can lead to major problems. Either way, it certainly doesn’t feel good, so make sure your contact is intact before putting it in.

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19. Don’t put your contacts in inside out.

Similar to a torn contact, a contact lens that is inside out can scratch your eye and be a source of a lot of discomfort. If you’re finding it hard to tell which way is which, hold the contact on your finger and look at it from the side. If the edges bow out and down, you need to flip it over.

20. Don’t rub your eye while wearing your contacts.

This can dislodge the contact and can also get it stuck somewhere else in your eye. While this is usually a non-emergency, it can become a problem.

 

Featured photo credit: Andy Simmons via flickr.com

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Maggie Heath

Maggie is a passionate writer who blogs about communication and lifestyle on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on November 11, 2019

How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

Have you ever noticed that some people are able to effortlessly remember even the most mundane details and quickly comprehend new things? Well, you can too!

To unlock the full potential of your brain, you need to keep it active and acute. Wasting time on your couch watching mindless television shows or scrolling through facebook is not going to help.

Besides getting out flashcards, what can you do to help remember things better and learn new things more quickly? Check out these 10 effective ways on how to improve memory:

1. Exercise and Get Your Body Moving

Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.

Furthermore, without regular exercise, plaque starts to build up in your arteries, and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood. Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks and it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.

To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities. Take a look at these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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2. Eliminate Stressors and Seek Help If You’re Depressed

Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.

If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain. Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus which is where short-term memories are stored.

Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Take Naps

Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information.

Getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

4. Feed Your Brain

Fifty to sixty percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.

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This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly. Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.

Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Here’re more brain food choices: 12 Foods that Can Improve Your Brain Power

Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat but their lack of nutritional value is not going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

5. Eat Breakfast and Make Sure It Includes an Egg

According to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of  The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage; and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.

Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells.

Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day. If you’re too busy to have a healthy breakfast, this maybe just right for you: 33 Quick And Healthy Breakfasts For Busy Mornings

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6. Write it Down

If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help.

It may sound like a no-brainer, but do you really know why? Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it. Here’s How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life.

You can start a journal, write yourself emails or even start keeping a blog – all of these activities will help to improve your capacity to remember and memorize information.

7. Listen to Music

Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

8. Visual Concepts

In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.

Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook; or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

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Here, you can learn How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

9. Teach Someone Else

Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Expanding further upon this idea is the fact that psychologists and educators have found that by having students teach new concepts to others, it helps to enhance understanding and recall.

Teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.

10. Do Crossword Puzzles, Read or Play Cards

Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, read or play cards on a daily basis not only keep your brain active but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.

So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book or enjoy a game of solitaire.

Pick one to two of these tips first and start applying them to your everyday life. Very soon you’ll find yourself having better memories and a clearer head!

More About Boosting Memory

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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