According to figures from the NHS, there are more three million contact lens users in the UK. Contact lenses provide an alternative to glasses that is more convenient - especially when engaged in sport - and offer more complete vision. For some, the decision to wear contact lenses boils down to image; they simply prefer themselves without glasses.

But, wearing contact lenses raises the possibility of eye infection as you are putting a foreign body into your eye. If your fingers and lenses are sterile the chance of infection is negligible, however poor hygiene and disregard of safety procedures is terrible news for your eyes.

To make sure your eyes stay infection free, bright and healthy take heed of these simple instructions.

Reusable lenses

Cleanliness and impeccable hygiene are particularly essential for reusable lenses worn daily but replaced monthly. After removing contact lenses you must thoroughly disinfect them. For most people this is done in a small storage case filled with saline solution and left over night. The solution cleans your lenses and kills any bacteria that might be lurking about.

Never re-use or top up disinfection solution as the bacteria may be trapped in the solution and this could lead to infection the following time you insert the lenses in your eyes.

Always wash, with soap, and dry your hands completely before and after insertion and removal.

Never leave your contact lenses in for longer than your optometrist recommends.

It's also a good idea to clean the contact lens case; leave it to dry in the open air every day and replace it every month.

Disposable and extended wear contact lenses

Extended wear lenses can be worn continuously, even when you are sleeping, for as long as one month. Daily lenses are worn for a single day then disposed of. Both types don't need disinfecting mixtures. However, you should still ensure your hands are clean and dry when you put in and take out your lenses.

General tips

Try and take one day off a week and wear your glasses rather than contact lenses. You should frequently have your eyes examined by an optometrist; they will check for infections and monitor your general eye health. If you do see any signs of infection, like redness, gooiness and/or white spots on your eyes you should contact an optometrist as soon as possible.

Author's Bio: 

Dan Burdock is a qualified optometrist and freelance writer. He recommends Vision Direct for contact lenses.