Charlottesville, VA (NEWSPLEX) – A new study suggests that wearing eye contact lenses can increase the risk of developing eye infection and it may lead to blindness. According to a survey by Center of Disease Control (CDC).

The CDC has investigated several multistate outbreaks of serious eye infections in the last ten years. The largest single risk factor is contact lens wear, and each investigation leads to hygiene-related risk behaviors among patients.


How was the survey?

Along with the American Optometric Association, CDC researchers focused on the 41 million estimated U.S contact lens wearers. Two surveys were made, one to estimate the number of adult contact lens wearers and the other to evaluate if their cleaning habits could be related to risk behaviors.

With results researchers found out 99 percent of the population are not following the right instruction on how to clean, wear, and store their lenses, causing infections that can lead to a blind eye. 55 percent of participants add new solution to the existing one instead of throwing the leftovers. Also 50 percent sleep with their lenses on and 85 percent overuse their lenses.

“They don’t throw their contact lenses away enough. They mishandle their contact lenses by topping off solution in their case. You must absolutely discard the solution everyday, and the third thing is they sleep in their contact lenses.” Dr. Carol Record, with Drs. Record and Record Optometrists said.

Doctors recommendations

Never sleep with your lenses on unless they are especially made for it because lenses can contract bacterias and they can get into the lenses solution, causing eye infections. Do not use tap water directly on contact lenses.

Don’t forget to wash your hands and dry them just before handling your contacts, also don’t use your contacts longer than prescribed by your doctor. Researchers recommended use contact lenses 12 hours tops. CDC announced they were also concerned that many of the participants often swim in pools with the lenses on which is a terrible risk-increaser. Wearers must use only fresh solution every time to clean and store contacts.

The president of the Kentucky Optometric Foundation said “Exposure of lenses to water raises the risk for infection because microorganisms living in water can be transferred to the eye. Although tap water is treated and safe for drinking, it is not sterile and contains microorganisms that can contaminate lens cases and contact lenses, which can cause eye infections.”

Researchers added that if you have eye pain, discomfort, redness or blurred vision you should call your doctor immediately.

Source: CDC