There are around 45 million contact lens wearers in America. A study from Arizona State University found that 15% to 20% of contact wearers flush their lenses down the sink or toilet. This contributes to around 6 to 10 metric tons of plastic lenses to U.S. wastewater yearly, which can be a risk to marine life.
Here’s how to properly dispose of contact lenses.
Contact Lens Disposal Guidelines
1. Never flush lenses down the sink or toilet. Discarded lenses can degrade into microplastics. They pose a danger to aquatic organisms and marine animals.
3. Most contact lenses packs indicate number 5 for recycling. Make sure to remove the foil on top, and ensure that the plastic is clean.
4. You may also recycle contact lens boxes and cleaning solutions. Contact cases should be replaced at least every three months. Bacteria can produce biofilm in your case, which can help them hide from the disinfectant in the contact lens solution. However, there are various creative ways to repurpose old contact cases.
5. Always wash and dry your hands before touching your contact lenses to protect your eyes from bacteria.
Keep track on when you need to change your contact lenses. Create a calendar or a chart so you won’t forget. Never wear contact lenses that are not yours as it increases the risk of infection.
Don’t sleep with your contacts in and only use the solution recommended by your eye doctor. Remove your contacts if your eye gets irritated, and immediately go to your eye doctor if you experience any sudden vision loss, blurred vision, light flashes, eye pain, swelling or irritation.
Visit Guilford Eye Center, your local eye care center, for your vision needs. We perform thorough eye exams to ensure your contacts fit precisely. Call us at (336) 387-6777, or fill out our online form to learn more about our services. We help patients in High Point, NC.