This October marks Contact Lens Safety Month, an annual campaign to raise awareness about the importance of contact lens safety and proper contact lens care. This year’s campaign is especially important given the COVID-19 pandemic and the increased use of contact lenses during the pandemic.
The History of Contact Lenses
Da Vinci was unaware that he invented contact lenses. A correctional eyeglass was developed without Da Vinci’s knowledge in 1508, based on his theory of how the human eye adjusts its focus on distant objects.
In 1888, focal lenses appeared for the first time. It was designed to be worn for only a couple of hours per day and did not aim to cover the whole eye. As the first president to publicly wear contact lenses, Lyndon B. Johnson acknowledged contact lenses in 1949.
In 1959, Czech chemists Wichterle and Drahoslav developed soft and oxygen-permeable lenses.
What’s Contact Lens Safety Month?
Non-profit eye health association, Prevent Blindness declared October to be Contact Lens Safety Month. As part of its mission, the association educates lens wearers on how to properly use and care for their lenses to reduce preventable Blindness.
During Contact Lens Safety Month, we encourage everyone to take the following steps to ensure their contact lens safety:
- Schedule an annual comprehensive eye exam with a licensed eye care professional.
- Get fitted for contact lenses by a licensed eye care professional.
- Follow all manufacturer’s instructions for contact lens care and cleaning.
- Do not share contact lenses with others.
- Replace contact lenses as prescribed by a licensed eye care professional.
- Never sleep in contact lenses unless prescribed by a licensed eye care professional.
- Remove contact lenses before swimming or entering a hot tub.
- Never use tap water to clean or store contact lenses.
- Avoid putting contact lenses in your mouth.
- If you experience any problems with your contact lenses, discontinue use and seek the advice of a licensed eye care professional.
Contact Lens Safety and Children
Contact lens safety is essential for everyone but is crucial for children and teens. According to statistics, one in five 8 to 12-year-olds wears contact lenses, increasing to one in three by age 19. Contact lens wear can offer many benefits for children and teens, but parents must ensure their child follows all safety guidelines.
If you have any questions about contact lens safety or would like to schedule an appointment, please call us at 978.239.4746 in Salem, MA, and 508.836.8733 in Westborough, MA.