Nearly 1 in 5 contact lens-related infections result in damaging eye
Improper use of contact lenses can lead to serious eye infection and long-term damage, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports.
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The federal agency reached the conclusion after analyzing 1,075 reported cases of contact lenses-related infections over the past 10 years. Researchers found that nearly 20 percent of contact lenses related infections result in seriously damaged eye including corneal scarring or inflammation that can even lead to vision loss.
The patients who had a scared cornea often require corneal transplant or they have to live with impaired eye vision for the rest of their life. And you don't want to put yourself in that situation. The good news is most of these injuries are avoidable. Researchers beleive that the chances of getting an eye infection can be reduced if contact lenses are used in a proper way.
“Contact lenses are a safe and effective form of vision correction when worn and cared for as recommended,” said Michael Beach from CDC’s Healthy Water Program. “However, improper wear and care of contact lenses can cause eye infections that sometimes lead to serious, long-term damage.”
To prevent eye infection, contact lens wearers should take their lenses out before sleeping and swimming. Having contact lenses while sleeping increases the chances of infection by 6 to 8 times. Topping off or adding new solution to old one should be avoided. Contact lenses should be replaced as often as your eye doctor recommends. So these are potentially modifiable risk factors. If we can avoid them, the chances of developing contact lens-related eye infection could be reduced to great extent.
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“Around 41 million people in the United States wear contact lenses and benefit from the improved vision and comfort they provide,” said Jennifer Cope, medical epidemiologist in CDC’s Waterborne Disease Prevention Branch. “While people who get serious eye infections represent a small percentage of those who wear contacts, they serve as a reminder for all contact lens wearers to take simple steps to prevent infections.”