A few days ago the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) informed that 99 percent (99%) of the 41 million adults who have contact lenses in the United States don’t bother to clean their contacts according to instructions.
They CDC revealed that they often wash their contacts using tap water instead of special disinfectants and that they often fall asleep or deliberately go to sleep with their contacts in. Both of these are dangerous mistakes that can make contact lens users develop infections, and even go blind.
Thirty-nine (39) year old Chad Groeschen learned that the hard way. His case just surfaced and may very well serve as a warning to other contact lens users. Groeschen’s left eye started to itch while he was working on a client’s outdoor deck. He initially dismissed the symptom, believing that it was a simple allergic reaction. And later, when his eye got goopy, he assumed it was a sinus infection.
However, once he finally went to the Cincinnati Eye Institute and doctors got a look at his eye, they told him that he had a bacterial infection which was attacking his cornea, quickly destroying it.
Groeschen offered a statement explaining that “It was basically that if I hadn’t had contacts [the bacteria] might not have incubated”. While this is a tragic case, the contacts themselves may not necessarily be the ones to blame.
Even though the contact lenses that Groeschen was wearing were made for extended wear and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved them for overnight wear, the American Academy of Ophthalmology has warned users that doing so puts them in danger of developing an infection.
Unfortunately the message does not seem to get through as the recent CDC reported showed that 50 percent (50%) of all contact lens users in the US sleep overnight with their contacts in, and 87 percent (87%) of all contact lens users in the US take naps with their contacts in.
And there are many other common mistakes that endanger people’s sight. The CDC researchers said that 50 percent (50%) of all subjects in their survey didn’t replace their contacts as frequently as they should have, and 82 percent (82%) of all subjects in their survey didn’t replace their contact cases as frequently as they should have.
Fifty-five percent (55%) of all subjects in the CDC survey did not change their contact lens solution as often as they should have, and 85 percent (85%) of all subjects in the CDC survey showered with their contact in (a habit that allows the bacteria in the water to get on the contacts).
Image Source: flickr.com