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Sleeping Or Swimming With Contact Lenses Results In Eye Damage

Photo from Pixabay

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned the public that misuse of contact lenses, which includes wearing them while sleeping or swimming, has led to serious eye injuries in many Americans.

Around 41 million people in the country wear lenses and enjoy its benefits, health officials say. But based on data from 1,075 cases reported to the Food and Drug Administration from 2005 to 2015, prolonged use of the same pair and other improper use accounts for almost 20% or one in five contact lens-related infections, Tech Times reports.

These infections have led to scarred corneas, cornea transplants and even a reduction in vision for some patients.

Over 10% of the FDA cases report that the patient was brought to the emergency room or a health care facility for urgent treatment.

Michael Beach, the Healthy Water Program director at the CDC, says such infections can remain for a long time, but are also largely preventable. Contact lenses are safe and effective for use when cared for properly.

Eye care specialists, patients, and contact lens makers can report cases of injuries or infections due to contact lens use to the FDA, which regulates them as medical devices. Eye infections can cause considerable pain and may disrupt regular activities. Many reported cases recommend hourly treatment with eye drops to treat infections.

August 22 to 26 is Contact Lens Health Week, which promotes the healthy wear and care of these medical devices to lower the number of eye injuries.

Some suggestions from the CDC include: take lenses off before sleeping, as this increases the potential for injuries by 6 to 8 times, replace contact lenses often as recommended by doctors, avoid swimming while wearing lenses to prevent contamination, avoid adding new contact lens solution to that already in the case so that it stays effective in killing germs, and getting regular eye checks.

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