- Use extended wear lenses for daily wear or use disposable daily wear lenses.
- Use peroxide cleaning solutions.
- Always "rub and rinse" when using multipurpose solutions (in spite of "no rub" labels.
- Wash and dry hands with soap and water before handling lenses.
- Use fresh solution to store lenses.
- Clean lens cases with lens solution and allow to dry between uses.
- Replace lens cases every three months.
- Avoid swimming (or showering) in lenses.
- Avoid smoking.
If after discussing the risks with your opthamologist, you elect to wear contact lens in the backcountry, Consider carrying a topical antibiotic (Rx) eye drops to treat bacterial infections. If conjunctivitis develops, remove your lenses and begin antibiotic treatment; closely monitor for a corneal ulcer. Begin a Level 2 evacuation if you develop persistent eye pain or suspect the presence of a corneal ulcer; permanent loss of vision is possible. See the Wilderness Medicine Handbook for more information on how to treat common eye problems in the backcountry.
In addition contact wearers should:
- Always carry a backup pair of glasses and extra lenses.
- Carry rewetting drops. Many contact lens wearers find that their eyes become dry in the outdoors. Note that both antibiotic and rewetting drops are subject to freezing.
- Choose contact lens with UV protection and wear sunglasses during the day.
- Consider laser refractive surgery.
All WMTC Wilderness First Responder and Wilderness EMT courses address eye injuries via lecture, case study review, and simulations. Guides and expedition leaders should consider taking our Wilderness First Responder course.