(UPI) -- After years of wearing contacts lenses, some may be tempted to take shortcuts, but a U.S. eye expert says that can cause serious health issues.
Dr. Sean Edelstein, an assistant professor of ophthalmology at Saint Louis University, said common shortcuts that most likely lead to trouble include using lens solutions that have gone beyond the expiration or discard date, reusing leftover contact lens solution in the case and exposure of contact lenses to any non-sterile water. Other risk factors include overnight wear, extended wear, inadequate cleaning and disinfection of lenses and storage cases.
"While contacts are generally very safe, wearers should know that poor contact care can lead to serious health issues," Edelstein said in a statement. "Unfortunately, I usually see patients after they've developed contact lens related infections or inflammation. Eye redness, pain, sensitivity to light and blurry vision are symptoms that suggest something is wrong. In this scenario, you should immediately remove your contact lens and see an eye care professional."
To prevent eye risk, Edelstein suggested:
-- Never use tap water in place of contact solution. Tap water can harbor microorganisms that can cause eye infections.
-- Always use fresh contact solution, don't reuse solution or add more.
-- Keep the contact case clean and follow lens cleaning and handling instructions.
-- Don't leave contacts in longer than instructed. Follow the designated schedule and remove when recommended.