Most Americans have fairly good vision, according to the National Institutes of Health, but about 14 million people are visually impaired. If you’re one of the unlucky ones who needs contact lenses or glasses, we’ve got bad news: Chances are, you’re probably making some key mistakes with your eyecare.

iStock.com/skynesher

We’re not talking about big mistakes, per se—we doubt you’re staring straight into the sun every other day—but you’re probably slacking on your contact care, overspending on prescriptions, and just generally making a mess of the whole optometry thing. Here are a few habits to change.

1. You’re not switching your contacts out regularly.

We get it, those things are expensive. However, per the CDC, about 1 out of every 500 contact lens users develops serious eye infections each year. Those infections can lead to blindness if untreated.

The CDC noted that improper lens care has been linked to outbreaks of serious infections, so while you might really want to stay in bed instead of plucking out your contact lenses at night, you should probably make the effort.

image

Unfortunately, most people don’t adhere to that advice: between 40 and 90 percent of contact lens wearers ignore the care instructions for their contacts. That’s a pretty wide range; people lie when confronted with survey questions like, “Are you taking care of your contacts, or are you just a total doofus?”

2. You’re going to the eye doctor for simple prescription updates.

Don’t get us wrong, you should visit the eye doctor regularly, but if you simply need to renew your prescription, you can do that online.

Sites like 1-800-Get-Lens provide online eye tests, reviewed by physicians, which work perfectly fine for those annual updates. Just be sure to go to the real-life optometrist’s office for glaucoma tests and other eyecare essentials.

3. You’re rinsing your contacts incorrectly.

Read the instructions that come with your solution, and you’ll realize that you have no idea what you’re doing.

image

For starters, you’re never supposed to top off your solution. That dilutes it, effectively limiting the cleaning power (and increasing your risk of infections). And don’t even think about using tap water in place of lens solution—tap water can contain Acanthamoeba, an amoeba that will invade and infect your cornea.

Go ahead and read that last sentence again. If that’s not enough motivation to prompt better eyecare, we don’t know what to tell you.

Know a friend who you'd like to tag?

Discussion

More Like This

It Wasn’t Me: People Share Their Most Embarrassing Moments

“I walked face-first into a street light because a cute girl called out my name from the back seat of her friend’s car. It made a ‘bong’ sound.”

8 Controversial Children’s Toys You Can Find On Amazon (And Their Less Offensive Alternatives)

There’s no limit to the number of unusual toys you can find on Amazon, but these eight controversial toys are better left in the past.

Never Catch Us Slippin’: 36 Products For Clumsy People

If you were born clumsy, there’s not much chance you’ll suddenly wake up a ballerina. Buying a few of these products is the next best thing.

Nursing Home Secrets Revealed: How To Find The Perfect Place

What exactly goes on at nursing homes? Hint: It's not what you'd expect.

Further Reading

The Lightbulb Conspiracy: Shining Light On Planned Obsolescence

In Livermore, California, a light bulb has burned continuously for over 117 years. It's amazing—but is it proof of a vast global conspiracy?

We Bought Contacts From 1-800-Get-Lens, And Here’s What We Found Out.

We were sort of skeptical of the site's online vision test, which offers an inexpensive alternative to the optometrist's office. Surprisingly, it works.

Acting For Two: How Actors Hide Real-Life Illnesses, Injuries, And Pregnancies

What do actors do when their bodies don't fit the role? They hide it—or, better yet, they improvise.

Cheaters Explain Why They Stepped Out (And How They Feel About It Now)

What makes a person cheat?

7 Things ’00s Kids Are Just Now Realizing

We've got bad news about Twilight, High School Musical, and Jackie Chan Adventures.

Second Verse, Same As The First: 7 Famous Musicians Who’ve Been Accused Of Stealing Songs

What happens when your hit song is actually a ripoff? Typically, the lawyers get involved.