Eye care is a vitally important aspect of your health that should not be neglected, and contact lenses make you vulnerable to infections when engaging in bad hygiene habits. That fact should be reminded to all the 41 million contact lenses wearers in the United States, as an overwhelming near 100% of them have been overlooking proper measures to ensure their safety.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 99% of the population who make use of the tiny medical devices are placing themselves at risky levels of preventable infection.
The survey inquired over 4,200 Americans, of over 18 years old in age, upon their hygiene habits regarding contact lenses and discovered that a good majority have carelessly made themselves vulnerable to microbial keratitis, which is an infection of the cornea. According to Dr. Jennifer R. Cope, the devices hold the largest risk factor for the microbe to find its way in and threaten your eye care.
In fact, one third of the study’s participants have paid visits to medical professionals in order to seek help after experiencing red and painful eyes, a highly preventable situation that could have been avoided by following the guidelines for proper hygiene.
The CDC cooperated and coordinated with the Contact Lens Assessment in Youth (CLAY), a group of researchers who aided in conducting the study and drawing the statistics.
The most common problem seems to be that 82.3% of contact lens wearers have kept the eye care devices on for far longer than recommended, even if 93% reported to using soft and flexible models that efficiently allow oxygen to pass through the cornea. The study underlines that in spite of the more permitting nature of pliable lenses, they should not be worn for longer than suggested.
The study delved deeper into the unfortunate and unhygienic habits, and found that 55.1% add new solution to their existing supply, instead of entirely emptying the case and completely resupplying it, as per the guidelines.
A number of 50.2% sleep with their contact lenses on, and while the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved certain products for night wear, they can still easily make the wearer vulnerable to microbial infections.
Around 85% of the study’s participants have admitted to showering with their lenses on, and 61% have gone swimming without taking them off. The survey revealed rather risky behavior in instances where infection could easily be prevented, and have claimed that contact lens wearers place themselves at unnecessary risk.
They advise all those who make use of the medical devices to always carry a backup pair of glasses and replace the lenses as often as recommended, which is around every three months.
Image source: dailytimesgazette.com