Contact lenses give great vision to many people, but as a corneal specialist I see many patients with corneal ulcers caused by poor lens wear. It is essential to follow strict hygiene when wearing contact lenses. Always wash your hands before handling your lenses, and never wash your lens or its case in tap water. Tap water in the UK can contain an organism called Acanthamoeba, which can cause devastating corneal infections and permanent visual loss. For this reason you should avoid splashing shower water into your eyes if you're wearing your lenses during a shower. Swimming with contact lenses either in your local pool or the sea is a definite no no!
Whilst patients are often hygienic with their lenses, they often forget that the contact lens case is a reservoir for bugs. So, if you wear monthly disposible lenses make sure you change the container each month too. Sleeping with lenses in deprives the cornea of oxygen and increases risk of infection.
As a rule, if your eyes are red, feel uncomfortable, or have a discharge, dont wear lenses till they feel back to normal. And if you dont like the hassle of lens wear and their inherent risks and costs, there's always glasses or LASIK.
Click below for an intriguing article of a woman who had an entire bacterial ecosystem in her contact lens case.