I was wandering down the the aisles in Target the other day buying all those wonderful things I never knew I needed. After wasting a few minutes agonizing over the merits of Rolos vs. Milky Way mini bars I escaped the endless rows of food paradise to find myself getting in the way of about ten red-shirted workers feverishly putting up a new display. After doing a tiny self congratulatory dance in my head that my days of back to school shopping were over I felt a burst of moral outrage that summer was being prematurely hijacked by an overeager business model. Seriously folks, couldn’t you have waited until August? As I made my way towards the checkout counter I began to reconsider my hasty condemnation of the sweet and innocent school supplies. Allow me to share with you a classic scenario that occurs in every eye doctor’s office the second to last week of August. Front desk staff picks up phone. “Um, hi, this is Mrs. OopsIforgot, my son is going back to college in three days and needs an appointment and a years worth of contact lens, and oh, he lost his glasses when he went kayaking down the Delaware, can you squeeze him into the schedule and get him everything he needs?” Experienced front desk staff calmly tells Mrs. OopsIforgot that Dr. Superduperbusy has been fully booked for August since June and she would put Master OopsIforgot on the waiting list. I will spare you the back and forth phone shenanigans that ensued between irate mom and calm staff member, but you get the picture. Summer is a great time for those back to school eye exams for your kids – so when those shiny, glittery school supplies start popping up on your radar make that call to our office to ensure that your kids are all set up for their annual checkups. Oh, and Target? I am sorry I ever doubted you….
Did that get your attention? Fantastic, keep reading! A few years ago the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) came out with a cute but slightly stomach churning info-graphic that compared wearing dirty underwear to misusing contact lenses. Daily contact lenses are meant to be worn once and then tossed – that’s why they are called “daily”. Reusing dailies is unhygienic and gross and can lead to potential eye infection and inflammation. The same way you would (hopefully) not reuse the underwear you wore yesterday, don’t reuse your dailies! Other modalities of contact lenses such as monthlies are meant to be reused, but continuing with our undergarment metaphor, like underwear they need to be thoroughly sanitized with appropriate cleansers before wearing again. Other bad contact lens habits the info-graphic highlights are not cleaning contacts with tap water or spit (NASTY!) and not buying non FDA approved contact lenses found in sketchy costume shops or the dollar store. The info-graphic ends off with the advice “Cover your butt, take care of your eyes”. Not the classiest analogy, but I’ll bet it’s a visual that might haunt you the next time you consider abusing your contact lenses!