Don't take shortcuts when caring for contact lenses, expert says

Don't take shortcuts when caring for contact lenses: expert
Here's what to do and what not to do to avoid eye problems.
(HealthDay)—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 . "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 include:

  • 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 enough
Most often, corneal infections are caused by bacteria, particularly Pseudomonas and Staphylococcus. In rare cases, Edelstein noted, 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 eyeball).

also can cause scarring in the cornea, as well as permanent . To prevent these harmful effects of poor contact-lens care, Edelstein advises people to take these precautions:

  • Never substitute tap water for contact solution.
  • Always use fresh contact solution.
  • Keep your contact case and lenses clean and handle them properly.
  • Don't wear your contacts for extended periods of time.

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More information: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has more about contact lens care.

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Citation: Don't take shortcuts when caring for contact lenses, expert says (2012, November 24) retrieved 18 June 2019 from
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User comments

Nov 24, 2012
don't wear contact lenses except on interviews and important dates/meetings. contact lenses introduce new bacteria into your eyes EVERY time you put them into your eyes. theyre simply BAD for you.

Nov 25, 2012
I think you are overreacting a bit, Jeddy. I've used contacts for decades without any problems.

Plus, going by your logic, why would you ever bother getting contacts in the first place?

Nov 27, 2012
Mostly nonsense. I have been wearing gas perm lens for fifty years, and I clean them regularly by putting them in my mouth, and then back in my eye, and I have never had an infection. I don't pay any attention to expiration dates either.That's just another racket to get you to buy something you don't need.I'm 73, have an IQ of 180, and I figured out years ago that most "experts" are fools.

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