In the UK there are approximately 4.2 million contact lens wearers, which represents 9% of the population aged 15-64. With such a high number, as many 90% of users don’t follow proper care instructions.
A report carried out by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention states ‘Approximately 99% of respondents reported at least one contact lens hygiene behaviour previously associated with an increased risk for eye infection or inflammation’
More than half of wearers have slept overnight with their lenses in (almost 90% have taken a nap) and 55% of people have topped off their lens solution with tap water!
Keratitis is the most common infection from wearing contact lenses. It is when the cornea becomes infected. In some cases, it can scar the cornea, affecting your vision.
Some of the symptoms of contact lens-related infections include:
- Blurry vision
- Unusual redness of the eye
- Pain in the eye
- Tears or discharge from the eye
- Sensitivity to light
- Feeling like there is something in your eye
Here are some tips from the AAO to help reduce the risk of infection from wearing Contact Lenses
Rub lenses when cleaning them. Wash your hands before cleaning your contacts. Place the lens in your clean palm with fresh, store-bought solution. Rubbing the lens as you clean it loosens the protein and bacteria that builds up. Even if your solution says “No Rub,” you should do it anyway. Studies have proven that rubbing the lenses is one of the best ways to avoid eye infections.
Rinse lenses in store-bought solution. Always rinse and store your contact lenses in store-bought solution. Home-made saline contains dangerous parasites that can blind you.
Replace your contact lens case with a new one at least three times per year.
From time to time, give your eyes a break from your contact lenses. Also, never sleep in your contact lenses. That makes it much more likely that you will get an eye infection.
Get new lenses when recommended. Don’t try to extend the life of your contacts by wearing them too long. Only keep lenses as long as your prescriber recommends. For example, one-month contact lenses should only be used for 30 days after opening the package.
Make and keep an appointment with your optometrist to keep your eyes healthy. Your optometrist is committed to protecting your sight.
Cathedral Eye Clinic is based in Belfast, Northern Ireland and is the island of Ireland’s most advanced laser eye clinic. If you’re suitable for the latest generation of SMILE laser surgery, you can receive freedom from glasses and contact lenses. To arrange your free suitability assessment contact us online here, http://cathedraleye.com/contact, or call us on 028 9032 2020.
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