If you wear contact lenses, then you are fully aware of their pros and problems. You may even have a love-hate relationship with them that sometimes puts you on the brink of ditching them for glasses.

They fine-tune your vision, don’t get foggy, and are convenient when engaging in physical activities. But they can be pricey, prone to interference from dirt and debris, and also prone to user negligence (right?).

With that being said, if you’re a newbie to contact lenses or keep running into the same two or three problems with them, then it’s worth thinking about the common slipups that people make with contacts.

We’re not doing this to shame you, but rather remind you of what not to do with your lenses so that your eyes and your wallet can stay in tiptop shape. Here are some of the most common mistakes made with contacts:

  1. Allowing them in Water

    Jumping into the shower, pool, hot tub or other source of water can expose your contacts to bacteria, fungus, or an organism called Acanthamoeba. The amoeba can cause a painful infection in the eye and, in severe cases, blindness.

    On top of that, the chemicals found in water (tap water, too) are harsh on the lenses themselves. Remember to remove them before getting into water.

  2. Sleeping in Them

    Who hasn’t forgotten to pop out their lenses before falling asleep after a long day? Your cornea needs air, and trapping moisture underneath the lenses for hours can set you up for irritation, an abrasion, or at worst – an infection.

  3. Washing in Tap Water

    This is a definite NO. Use contact lens solution to clean your lenses properly, as the compounds and germs found in tap water will make the lenses unhygienic. They too can expose your eyes to infection.

  4. Ignoring Their Time Allotment

    If your lenses are meant to be worn for two weeks, a day, or a month, it’s important that you adhere to the prescribed program. Their wear and tear can make it difficult for you to see or irritate and infect your eyes.

  5. Storing Them in a Dirty Case

    Replacing your case is just as important as replacing your lenses when it’s past its prime. Get in the habit of disinfecting your case and replacing it every 3 months.

  6. Handling Them with Dirty Hands

    Your hands must be clean with touching your contact lenses, whether it’s to put them in or take them out. Lather up with some warm soapy water, wash and DRY your hands, and then place your lenses in your clean hands to prevent the spread of germs.

  7. Forcing them to Work Overtime

    Leaving your lenses in beyond 14 to 16 hours per day is not recommended, and you may find that your eyes are irritated after 8 or so. Pay attention to your doctor’s orders and manufacturer’s instructions in terms of the maximum amount of hours to wear them per day.

You don’t want to mess with your vision, so do right by your eyes by caring for your contact lenses properly. Remove them, clean, and store them properly, and be sure to visit your eye doctor annually to update your prescription.

Have you learned some hard and painful lessons with your contact lessons? Do you have a preference for glasses over contacts? Which of these mistakes are you guilty of making?