Don't Take Shortcuts When Caring for Contact Lenses: Expert11/24/12
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.
Copyright © 2012
. All rights reserved.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.