Throw Your Contacts Away Immediately If You Notice This

Those who wear contacts every day can forget the delicate nature of both the lenses and our eyes. You may be thinking that if you've never gotten an eye infection, you know how to care for your contacts properly. But more than likely, you've put your eyes at risk at some point. One 2011 study found that 85% of eye patients thought they followed proper contact lens care, but in actuality, only 0.4% were fully compliant.

An important factor is swapping your contacts out for a fresh pair at the right time. Baird Optical identified that there's a 40% chance you haven't been changing your contacts on time. It's easy to lose track of how long they are in, and it can be tempting to stretch each wear to save money. Beyond staying on top of your replacement schedule, there are other warnings to keep in mind — no one wants to cause any damage to their eyes, especially not with contact lenses.

Pay attention to irritation, discomfort, and cloudiness

Most know that sleeping in contacts is a big "no-no" unless approved by your doctor. But you may not know that something as minuscule as cloudy lenses can be a sign of bacteria. According to Baird Optical, easy ways to avoid this are always using a fresh solution when putting your contacts away and remembering to wash your hands before handling your lenses. Also, don't forget to change out your lens case and clean it with lens solution on a regular basis. And please: If you drop your contacts, do yourself a favor and throw them away.

Irritation or discomfort is another sign you need to toss your lenses. If a quick clean doesn't do the trick, then your contacts may be damaged or torn. Even tiny tears can allow germs or impurities to reach the surface of the eye, potentially scratching or infecting the cornea (via Baird Optical). Examine your lenses closely to make sure the surface is smooth. If it feels off, why risk it? Throw them away. And if a new pair doesn't make your irritated eyes feel any better, don't power through it; see your optometrist.