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CDC: Most Contact Lens Wearers Admit Risky Eye Care Behaviors

Old cases, contaminated solution, and sleeping in lenses boost infection risk

FRIDAY, Aug. 21, 2015 (HealthDay News) — The majority of Americans who use contact lenses admit they engage in at least one type of risky behavior that can lead to eye infections, according to survey results published in the Aug. 21 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

CDC researchers conducted an online survey of contact lens users and found that more than 99 percent reported at least one risky habit.

Four-fifths of contact lens users (82.3 percent) admitted keeping their contact lens cases for longer than recommended, and more than half (55.1 percent) said they add new solution to the existing solution instead of emptying the contact lens case first. About half (50.2 percent) reported wearing their contact lenses while sleeping. Each of these behaviors boosts the risk of eye infections by five times or more, according to the CDC. The report also indicates that nearly one-third of contact lens wearers have sought medical care for potentially preventable problems such as painful or red eyes.

“Good vision contributes to overall well-being and independence for people of all ages, so it’s important not to cut corners on healthy contact lens wear and care,” Jennifer Cope, M.D., M.P.H., a medical epidemiologist at the CDC, said in an agency news release. “We are finding that many wearers are unclear about how to properly wear and care for contact lenses.”

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