A new study from the CDC shows that a shocking number of people fail to properly care for their contact lenses, resulting in nasty infections that could permanently damage eyesight.
Contact lenses are a convenient alternative to traditional lasses, but they are not without their own set of risks. According to a report from Medical News Today, almost a third of all people that contacts reported contracting an infection that ended with a visit to a doctor.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention found that nearly 41 million people in the United States currently wear contact lenses. Despite the fact that they have been around since the 1930s, the modern soft contact lenses were first developed in 1971. According to the CDC, between 40 and 90 percent of all contact lens wearers have difficulties following the care instructions, which can lead to negative outcomes for their eyes.
Improper contact lens care could result in significant damage to your eyesight, with infections from bacteria and other microbes posing the highest risk. The CDC recommends cleaning your hands with soap and water before touching your contact lenses to minimize their exposure to germs.
Contact lenses should never be exposed to water because of the high levels of bacteria and other microbes that cause infections. Water can also warp the shape of your contact lenses, causing your eyes to strain through a bad prescription.
Sleeping in contact lenses is also one of the leading cause of infections. Leaving your contacts in overnight can increase the risk of a corneal infection called microbial keratitis by a factor of five.
Despite the warnings from the CDC, improper care is still common. Following care directions could significantly lower the risk of infection, as well as avoiding sleeping, showering, or swimming with your contacts still in your eyes.