SATURDAY, Nov. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Common shortcuts people
take when caring for their contact lenses could have serious
consequences, such as infections or ulcerations, according to an
eye disease expert.
"While contacts are generally very safe, wearers should know
that poor contact care can lead to serious health issues," Dr. Sean
Edelstein, AN assistant professor of ophthalmology at Saint Louis
University Medical Center, said in a university news release.
"Unfortunately, I usually see patients after they've developed
contact-lens-related infections or inflammation."
"Eye redness, pain, sensitivity to light and blurry vision are
symptoms that suggest something is wrong," said Edelstein, who
specializes in cornea and external diseases of the eye. "In this
scenario, you should immediately remove your contact lens and see
an eye-care professional."
Shortcuts people often take when caring for their contact lenses
- Using expired lens solutions
- Reusing leftover contact solution
- Exposing contacts to non-sterile water
- Wearing contacts too long or overnight
- Not cleaning contacts or disinfecting storage cases well
Most often, corneal infections are caused by bacteria,
Staphylococcus. In rare cases, Edelstein noted, contact
lenses may be infected by fungi or parasites, which is more
difficult to treat. In extreme cases, infections can spread deep
into the eye, causing endophthalmitis (inflammation inside the
Corneal ulcers also can cause scarring in the cornea, as well as
permanent vision loss. To prevent these harmful effects of poor
contact-lens care, Edelstein advises people to take these
- Never substitute tap water for contact solution.
- Always use fresh contact solution.
- Keep your contact case and lenses clean and handle them
- Don't wear your contacts for extended periods of time.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has more about
contact lens care.
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