Back-to-School Care for Contact Lens Wearers: 5 Tips
We spend a lot of time in front of screens. On average it’s nearly seven hours each day. However, for college and university students that number jumps significantly to at least 10 hours — around 50% of their lives is spent staring at phones, tablets and laptops.
That’s a lot of exposure to High Energy Visible Light (HEV), also known as “blue light,” which can impact our eyes. Not only does it cause us to blink less (as much as 60% less), the high energy of blue light is also “noisy” and harder to focus on. The result: dryness, irritation and eye strain. And blue light can also interfere with mood, attention span, memory and sleep.
In addition to blue light hazards, other studying-related factors can lead to uncomfortable eyes:
- Overwearing lenses beyond the recommended time can cause irritation and dryness, and increases the risk for infection and eye damage
- Less blinking can compromise the eye’s tear film, which can result in dryness and irritation
- Autumn allergies can lead to redness, tearing and itchiness
- Indoor temperature changes like fluctuations heating and cooling can dry out eyes
[Read our blog: 4 new high-tech options for popular contact lens brands]
So if you’re a student and a contact lens wearer, it’s especially important to take care of your eyes during those long hours of reading, scrolling, texting and typing. Here’s how:
Try dailies or disposables
If you’re a weekly or monthly lens wearer, consider switching to dailies or disposables. Even if you have an excellent track record of keeping your extended-wear contacts clean, some aspects of student life can make lens-wearing extra challenging.
Air-conditioning and heating in lecture halls, cafeterias and dorm rooms can dry your eyes more quickly. Pollen is another problem. If you suffer from fall allergies (ragweed, anyone?) pollen can accumulate on your lenses day after day, causing unwanted buildup.
With daily lenses, you get a fresh pair each day. That means comfortable, clear and irritant-free vision all day long (and less time spent cleaning!).
Use lenses with blue light filter
Take this decision one step further and try lenses that help thwart blue light hazards. One option: Acuvue Oasys Max lenses offer the highest level of blue light filtering (60%) available in a contact lens.
Accuvue’s OptiBlue Light Filter also reduces light scatter, halos and starbursts, and protects against 90% UVA and 99% UVB light.
Keep your lenses — and your body — hydrated
Temperature changes and long hours in front of screens can make maintaining a healthy tear consistency challenging. That can mean dry, irritated eyes and blurred vision — which is the opposite of what you want while studying!
To keep your lenses moist and comfortable, use lubricating eye drops or lens rewetting drops several times a day. Speak to your eye care professional about the best drops for you. And never use tap water as a wetting agent. It won’t relieve discomfort and could actually lead to infection.
The Acuvue Oasys Max lenses can also help with hydration. The TearStable technology works with your natural tears to prolong tear film stability and retain moisture throughout the lens. A slower rate of tear absorption makes for all-day comfortable wear and clear vision.
Also, make sure you’re drinking plenty of water — dehydration also affects the organs. Good old H20 helps to hydrate your eyes, reducing strain.
[Read our blog: Top 7 foods to help supercharge your eye health]
Stick to the recommended wear time
When you’re a university or college student, there are a lot of activities vying for your attention, and therefore, your vision. There can be long nights of reading and writing, lectures that happen in the early morning or evening (or both) and many social events.
As those days get longer, avoid the temptation of also leaving your dailies in longer than the recommended duration. Try not to nap with them in, and definitely don’t wear them while sleeping. Overwear can cause itchiness, irritation and other discomfort, and it can also put you at risk for eye damage or complications, such as:
- Chronic inflammation, which can cause lens intolerance
- Corneal scratches from debris and dirt under your contact lenses
- Corneal ulcers, which can result in sores and light sensitivity
Give your eyes some space
Yes, contacts are incredibly convenient, offering clear and comfortable vision without the need for glasses. But they do sit on your eyes for long periods of time, which can lead to those unwanted dry-eye and blurred vision situations.
If you’re spending countless hours studying, reading and working on your computer, consider switching to your glasses after 10-12 hours of lens wear, or even wear your glasses for a whole day or two each week. Think of it as a mini Spring Break for your eyes.
Want to know more about caring for your eyes through the seasons and also through life changes? Do you have questions about what contact lenses are best for you? Contact our customer service team at 1-800-404-7317 or email email@example.com to learn more. We’re happy to help.