There is no substitute for annual, in-office eye exams. We all have busy lives and it is natural to want to save time whenever possible.

But beware that so-called “online vision tests” are no substitute for seeing your eye doctor for a comprehensive contact lens check and eye exam.

It is extremely important to make sure to visit your eye doctor yearly or as often as he or she recommends.

1. Wash your hands. Every time. Your hands may look and feel clean, but ALWAYS wash your hands with soap and water and dry them well with a clean cloth before you even think about touching your contact lenses.

2. When in doubt, take them out. Although contact lenses are very comfortable for your eyes, there may be a time when your eyes look red, hurt a bit, and you just don’t see as clearly as you did before.

If this ever happens, don’t take any chances. Remove your lenses from your eyes and make a call to your eye doctor or optometrist so your eyes can be checked to ensure all is well.

3. Don’t fall for too-good-to-be-true deals. Who doesn’t love a good bargain? But you only have one pair of eyes, so don’t take any chances with buying your contact lenses from disreputable overseas suppliers, or trying those extreme color lenses from flea market stands.

You don’t know where they came from. Are they past their expiration date? Are they counterfeit? Are they contaminated? Remember the old advice from Mom—if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. This rule especially applies to your contact lenses and the health of your eyes.

4. Don’t sleep in your contact lenses. It’s late and you’re tired. It would be so easy to roll over and just go to sleep in your contact lenses. But even on those nights when you just don’t want to be bothered with your contact lenses, don’t sleep in themunless prescribed to do so by your eye doctor.

Why? Because sleeping in lenses is the #1 risk factor for developing a contact lens-related eye infection.

5. Don’t forget to replace contact lens cases, too. How long have you been using that lens case? If you can’t remember the last time you got a new one, or you’re using an old one you found in your bathroom cabinet—throw it away and buy a new one.

There’s a chance that old lens case is contaminated with fungi that can cause eye infection. If you’re wearing reusable lenses, make sure to follow your eye doctor’s instructions on how you should clean your case and how often you should replace it.


Researchers in the US have uncovered a ‘missing myopia gene’, which elevates the risk of short sightedness in children who spend an ‘above-average’ time reading or carrying out other close work.

A team from Columbia University in the US looking at a database of 14,000 people, found that those who had a variation of the APLP2 gene had as much as a five-fold increase in the risk of developing the condition.

However, the associated increase in risk only related to teenagers who had spent an hour or more per day reading. The researchers believe that increased levels of the protein in the eye cause it to lengthen, resulting in myopia.

“This is the first known evidence of gene-environment interaction in myopia,” said Dr Andrei Tkatchenko, lead investigator and assistant professor of ophthalmic sciences at Columbia University Medical College.

In studies with mice, which have a very similar copy of the gene to humans, more of the APLP2 protein was produced in the eye under close work conditions, which simulate reading.

Dr Tkatchenko said: “By reducing the level of APLP2 in the eye, you can reduce susceptibility to environmentally induced myopia. This gives us an opportunity to develop a therapy to prevent myopia in everyone, regardless of the APLP2 variant they carry.”

While a treatment may be far off, the authors write that the discovery could offer a “potential gene-specific target for therapeutic intervention to treat myopia.”

The research is published in the journal PLOS Genetics.

Taken from