The CDC reports that improper use of contact lenses can lead to eye damage. Improper use of contact lenses refers to sleeping with contacts on or using the same pair for too long. In fact, up to 20 percent of contact lens-induced infections resulted in eye damage.
Michael Beach of the CDC said, “Improper wear and care of contact lenses can cause eye infections that sometimes lead to serious, long-term damage.”
Dr. Mark Fromer, an ophthalmologist at Lenox Hill Hospital, said, “There is a serious health crisis with contact lens-related eye injuries. Unfortunately, many of the 41 million contact lens users in the United States do not think of a contact lens as a medical device they are placing on the surface of their eye.”
For the study, the CDC analyzed nearly 1,100 cases of contact lens-related eye infections reported to the FDA.
The researchers found that one in five patients either had a scarred cornea, required a corneal transplant, or endured other types of eye infections and eye damage.
Study author Dr. Jennifer Cope said, “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.”
The researchers also found that at least one out of four infections associated with contacts could have easily been prevented.
The CDC reminds the users to avoid sleeping with contact lenses on and to change their contacts as directed by their eye doctor. Storing contacts correctly as well as washing the hands prior to putting contacts in is also crucial for infection prevention.
Fromer added, “Contact lenses provide an excellent method of vision correction when used properly, but improper use of contact lenses can lead to serious eye infections and permanent visual loss.”
Also, read Bel Marra Health’s article: Contact lenses harmful for eyes, disrupt natural bacteria