Eye care, contact lens tips during water emergency
BOSTON -- The following tips for eye care during the 'boil-water' order are from the Massachusetts Society of Optometrists:
"Due to the water main break in Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Society of Optometrists (MSO) reminds consumers to be vigilant with eye protection and eye care, particularly for contact lens wearers. Untreated water reserves, which are currently supplying Eastern Massachusetts with tap water, may contain water-borne pathogens. These pathogens—including amoeba, parasites, bacteria and viruses—can be dangerous to the eye and may lead to infections, other complications and even loss of sight.
Recommendations for contact lens wearers to avoid exposure to untreated water-related eye infections and complications:
-- Avoid using tap water to wash or store contact lenses or contact lens cases.
-- Currently, use bottled or disinfected water to wash and dry hands before touching the eye or handling contact lenses.
-- Use only sterile products recommended by your optometrist to clean and disinfect lenses. Saline solution and rewetting drops are not designed to disinfect lenses.
-- Only fresh solution should be used to clean and store contact lenses. Never re-use old solution. Contact lens solution must be changed according to the manufacturer's recommendations, even if the lenses are not used daily.
-- Rub and rinse the surface of the contact lens before storing.
-- Store lenses in the proper lens storage case and replace the case every three months. Clean the case after each use, and keep it open and dry between cleanings.
-- Contact lens wearers who regularly sleep in contact lenses as prescribed should refrain from doing so if exposed to tap or untreated water.
-- Never put contact lenses in the mouth or moisten them with saliva, which is full of bacteria and a potential source of infection.
Symptoms to watch for:
If you experience any of the following conditions, contact your optometrist immediately:
-- Red and irritated eyes lasting for an unusually long period of time after lens removal
-- Pain in and around the eyes especially if it progressively worsens
-- Increased sensitivity to light
-- Sudden blurred or fuzzy vision
-- Excessive eye tearing or discharge
(Copyright (c) 2010 Massachusetts Society of Optometrists. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
WATER MAIN BREAK RESOURCES
On the leak
On the 'boil-water' order