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Patients Still Risking Eye Damage With Poor Contact Lens Care

Education should focus on informing wearers of common behaviors putting them at risk for infection

FRIDAY, Aug. 19, 2016 (HealthDay News) — Unsafe use of contact lenses is triggering serious eye injuries for many Americans, according to research published in the Aug. 19 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

CDC researchers analyzed 1,075 cases of contact lens-related corneal infections that were reported to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration between 2005 and 2015.

According to the researchers, nearly one in five patients had either a scarred cornea, required a corneal transplant, or had other types of eye damage because of infection. Furthermore, 12.1 percent of the patients had to go to an emergency department or urgent care clinic for immediate treatment.

“Although contact lenses are a safe and effective form of vision correction if worn and cared for as directed, they pose an infection risk to wearers if not worn and cared for properly,” the authors write. “Health promotion activities should focus on informing contact lens wearers of common behaviors that might put them at risk for eye infections, such as sleeping in contact lenses and exposing lenses to tap water, distilled water, or recreational water.”

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