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KIWI magazine

contact lenses

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported that Americans make almost a million doctors’ visits due to eye infections annually. These infections, known as keratitis, can cause eye pain, inflammation, and even blindness in severe cases, and you may be at a particular risk if you wear contact lenses. These tips from Meghan Kemnec, ND, a family practice physician at the Bastyr Center for Natural Health in Seattle, will help keep contact lens wearers’ eyes safe—naturally:

1. Don’t “top off” solution in your contact case. Always discard old or used solution before adding fresh liquid to your case. Bacterial biofilms can grow in the used solution and lead to an eye infection.

2. Take a break from your contact lenses and wear glasses at least once a week to give your eyes a chance to breathe. Allowing more oxygen to reach your eyes may help prevent contact lens intolerance and infection.

3. Keep your lenses away from water. This includes washing contact lenses with tap water and swimming and showering while wearing them. Water can allow bacteria to become trapped between the contact and your eye, causing an infection.

4. Try a more natural contact solution. Clear Conscience Multi-Purpose Contact Lens Solution ($29 for two 12 fl. oz. bottles, clearconscience.com) is chlorhexidine-free, FDA approved, and sterilized by filtration without the use of radiation. Clear Conscience is also cruelty-free and donates 10 percent of all proceeds to animal welfare nonprofit.

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