Contact Lens Safety Eye health and vision problems from contacts lenses can be prevented by avoiding known risky behaviors. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention almost all of the 41 million estimated contact lens wearers in the United States may be engaging in at least one behavior known to increase their risk of eye infections. Nearly one-third of contact lens wearers who participated in a national survey reported going to the eye doctor for red or painful eyes related to wearing contact lenses. More than 99 percent of survey respondents reported at least one risky behavior. The majority of wearers reported:
Keeping their contact lens cases for longer than recommended (82.3 %)
"Topping off” solution in the case by adding new solution to the existing solution instead of emptying the case out fully before adding new solution (55.1%)
Wearing their lenses while sleeping (50.2 %)
Each of these behaviors has been reported in previous studies to raise the risk of eye infections by five times or more!
An online survey was administered to a sample of contact lens wearers to determine how often contact lens wearers engaged in behaviors that could put them at risk for an eye infection. CDC collaborated with the Contact Lens Assessment in Youth (CLAY) group, a multi-university group of researchers, to conduct the survey. A separate survey was used to estimate the number of contact lens wearers – about 41 million adults. Taken together, the survey results indicate that millions of Americans could be at risk for serious eye infections because of poor contact lens hygiene behaviors.
We know that contact lenses can be worn safely if wearers are mindful of using good hygiene. To prevent eye infections, contact lens wearers should:
Wash hands with soap and water and dry them well before touching contact lenses
Take contacts out before sleeping, showering or swimming
Rub and rinse contacts in disinfecting solution each time they remove them
Rub and rinse the case with contact lens solution, dry with a clean tissue and store it upside down with the caps off after each use
Replace contact lens cases at least once every three months
Avoid “topping off” solution in lens case (adding fresh solution to old solution)
Carry a backup pair of glasses in case contact lenses have to be taken out
If you or someone you know have questions about contact lens care, hygiene, safety and how to avoid eye infections from contact lens wear, or wish to have a contact lens consultation or fitting, please call please call The Eye Care & Surgery Center at 908-789-8999, visit The Eye Care & Surgery Center, Google+ or facebook.com/eyecareandsurgerycenter to schedule an appointment.
The Eye Care & Surgery Center is located at 592 Springfield Avenue, Westfield, New Jersey 07090, 10 Mountain Boulevard, Warren, New Jersey 07059 and 517 Route One South, Suite 1100, Iselin, New Jersey 08830, and is conveniently located for patients from throughout central and northern New Jersey.