A study released last week (August 18th) by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) highlighted the risks taken by contact lens wearers who do not follow the instructions of their optician.
Of the 1,075 reports of contact lens-related infection reported to the Food and Drug Administration, almost one-fifth resulted in loss of visual acuity or corneal scarring. In 25.1 per cent of the reported cases, however, behaviour that can lead to infection was identified.
Of all the things that could increase the risk of infection, sleeping with your lenses in could be the worst. This can increase the risk up to eight fold, according to CDC officials. Not using fresh lens solution also puts your health at risk, as older solution does not have the same germ-killing efficiency as fresh solution.
It’s also recommended to change your contact lens cases every few months to ensure the cleanest possible environment for your lenses.
Other behaviours mentioned in the report that place your lenses at risk were contact with tap or recreational water and not changing lenses when recommended.
Dr Michael Beach, director of CDC’s Healthy Water Program, commented: “Improper wear and care of contact lenses can cause eye infections that sometimes lead to serious, long-term damage.”
Though most contact lens wearers know the dangers associated with sleeping in or not changing their lenses, many will not have been aware of the permanent damage that can be done by failing to properly care for your contact lenses.