Can I Wear Contacts After Cleansing Them if I Have Pink Eye?

Can I Wear Contacts After Cleansing Them if I Have Pink Eye?

Wearing contact lenses has its advantages over prescription eyeglasses but there are certain dos and don’ts that come along with lenses that sit directly on the eyes. Healthy habits of wearing contact lenses include washing your hands before handling contacts, clean and disinfect lenses daily, dispose of lenses as required, keep lenses in a contact lens storage case and replace case every 3 months, change solution daily, lubricate and moisturize eyes with artificial tears as necessary to avoid dry eye symptoms, and discontinue use if irritation occurs. You should not sleep in contact lenses, reuse the same solution in the storage case, wear them longer than prescribed, or cleanse them with water. 


With a daily routine in place, wearing contact lenses should be a comfortable experience. If you develop an eye condition or infection, stop wearing contact lenses until your eyes have completely healed. If you are unsure, contact your eye doctor. Because many patients rely on the ease of contact lens wearing, patients at Snowy Range Vision Center have questioned “can I wear contacts after cleansing them if I have pink eye?” When you are initially fitted for contacts, your ophthalmologist will strongly recommend a set of eyeglasses as a backup. When your eye is infected, including with pink eye, discontinue wearing contacts and opt for your glasses until your eyes return to white again, all pink color is gone, and your eye is no longer irritated. Pink eye can be a viral or bacterial infection and generally clears up within a few days to 2 weeks. Sometimes it resolves on its own and other times an antibiotic or antiviral treatment is necessary to clear the eyes. The bacterial conjunctivitis version of pink eye is contagious until 24 hours after medication has been administered. 


After your pink eye has cleared up and your prescribed treatment is complete, do not cleanse and reuse your contact lenses. Unfortunately, you can reinfect your eyes with previously worn contacts. Some bacteria can stay on the surface of contact lenses for up to 8 weeks and most contacts would normally be disposed of by that point. The best solution is to move forward with a clean set of unused contact lenses. While you wait, use a warm compress to cleanse and soothe your eyelids. 

For an eye exam and treatment options, call Snowy Range Vision Center at 307-742-2020. For more information about how to care for your eyes when wearing contact lenses, visit WEBSITE.


Snowy Range Vision Center

405 South 30th Street
Laramie, Wyoming 82070

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