In the United States, almost 30 million people use contact lenses. But many don’t think of the corrective eyewear as medical devices. As a result, people may place themselves at risk of nasty bacterial or fungal infections, or severe eye damage.

That’s why doctors stress these eyecare basics: Always wash your hands before touching your lenses; don’t sleep, shower, soak or swim in them; use the proper supplies and follow directions for using them to the letter; don’t skip check-ups with your eye doctor; and remove your lenses immediately if you feel pain or discomfort of any kind.