As a nurse, you will come across patients with all kinds of health conditions and infections. Over the course of your career, you may help patients suffering from mild to serious eye infections. You will find that several of those occur due to contact lens-related issues. While designed to help improve a person’s vision, contact lenses can also cause significant damage if not used properly. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a fifth of all contact lens related eye infections involve severe eye damage.
These issues can be easily avoided with proper care. Since patient education is essential to your role as a nurse, this post will discuss what you must know to help your patients use contact lenses responsibly without adverse effects.
According to the CDC, 25% of all eye infections caused by contact lenses are easily preventable. Let’s discuss some behaviors related to contact lens use that can increase the risk of developing eye infections and other severe problems:
Sleeping with Contact Lenses
Contact lenses are an effective way to replace glasses to improve vision. However, they should not be worn for extended periods of time. Sleeping with contact lenses in place is one of the most common reasons people develop severe eye infections. It is best not to wear contact lenses continuously throughout the day and night.
It is essential to clean contact lenses daily and properly. If a person fails to clean their contact lenses properly and continues using them, it exposes them to a greater risk of contracting eye infections. Not cleaning contact lenses regularly can lead to a buildup of protein on the lens, causing blurred vision. Ignoring this buildup can lead to the possibility of developing bacterial infections.
Another major cause of eye infections from improper care of contacts is cleaning them with tap water. As clean as the tap water supply may be, it can contain harmful bacteria. Using tap water to clean contact lenses can lead to bacterial infections with devastating effects. Using a saline solution specifically created to clean contact lenses is most ideal.
In addition to saline solutions, one should also consider using a disinfectant that is designed to clean and remove proteins from contact lenses.
Another common mistake people make when using contact lenses is using unwashed hands when handling them. To avoid infections, it is essential to prevent exposing eyes to harmful microbes. Handling contact lenses with unclean hands can lead to severe infections.
Failing to use contact lenses properly can lead to mild to severe infection. Some symptoms of contact lens related infections include:
- A constant discomfort
- Blurred vision
- Discharge or tears from the eyes
- Pain in the eyes
- Redness in the eyes
Depending on the severity of infection, contact lens related infections can lead to vision loss or blindness.
Ophthalmologists recommend getting eye examinations at least once a year. Annual eye exams allow doctors to monitor a patient’s long-term vision and eye health. It also allows doctors to detect signs of medical conditions and potential vision issues before they worsen.
As a nurse, you are well-positioned to help your patients understand various health issues and how they can avoid them. In addition to patient education, nursing continuing education is also critical to your nursing career. Besides helping you renew your license, nursing CEU courses also expand your skills and knowledge, helping you advance your career.
If the time to renew your license is close, the online nursing CEUs like the ones available by Fast CE For Less at www.fastceforless.com offer you a convenient, affordable, and easy solution.