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Not Caring For Your Contacts Can Lead To Big Problems

Since the invention of glasses it seems like men and women have been trying to find ways to avoid wearing them. When the contact lens was invented people jumped at the chance to see properly without having to wear something bulky and distracting on their faces; unfortunately, it seems that many people might not be treating these lenses as prescribed by their optometrist, and it is now leading to Keratitis. Outbreak News Today suggests: “Being able to see well is vitally important to performing everyday activities for most people. Contact lenses can provide many benefits, but they are not risk-free—especially if contact lens wearers take shortcuts and don’t take care of their contact lenses and supplies. Healthy habits mean healthy eyes.”

New reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have supplied data that shows almost a million visits to doctors in the United States are related to Keratitis due to improper care of contact lenses.

Learning The Basics

Keratitis is recognized in the medical community as a very painful eye condition which involves an infection in the cornea of the eye, due to excess bacteria, fungus, and other microbes. The condition is not only painful but can lead to blindness if not treated immediately. This is a very disconcerting problem in the United States where roughly thirty-eight million inhabitants wear contact lenses. Web MD says: “Some bad habits, such as sleeping with contact lenses, failing to clean and replace lens solution frequently, and letting contact lenses get wet while swimming or in the shower, greatly raises the risk for keratitis.”

A medical epidemiologist at the National Center for Emerging, Zoonotic and Infectious Diseases within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention named Dr. Jennifer Cope has stated that she believes contact lenses may be a great alternative to glasses, but that without proper hygiene and care, they can be a hazard for infections in the eye.

The estimated cost of the many visits to doctor offices regarding keratitis costs health care officials more than one hundred and seventy-five million dollars every year. While the problem can lead to blindness, if keratitis is found and treated early, patients should be able to lead normal lives with their current eyesight levels afterwards. If keratitis goes untreated it will cause inflammation of the eyes which leads to severe pain, and of course, blindness. Medical News Today reports: “Among the estimated 38 million contact lens wearers in the US, poor storage case hygiene, infrequent storage case replacement and overnight lens wear are established preventable risk factors for microbial keratitis, contact lens-related inflammation and other eye complications.”

This has lead the Centers for Disease Control to release a list of good hygiene for content lens use including washing hands properly with soap and water and drying them before trying to touch your contact lenses, disinfecting your lenses with the appropriate solutions each and every time that they are removed, using the solution recommended by your optometrist, refreshing solution in your case as instructed rather than trying to top it up with excess liquid, and keeping water away from your contact lenses.

Improper Cleaning Of Contacts

Unfortunately, many Americans believe that the use of soap and water is a good cure for any dirty object, and while this may be true of the dishes and the dog, it doesn’t include your contact lenses. Contacts are made up of a very sensitive material, but beyond that they are also placed directly in your eye, and one thing that most people don’t remember is that water is a perfect breeding ground for bacteria. Soap is harsh, and can break down the materials used in the creation of your lens, which means that you won’t be able to see through them properly, and it can also sting the eye if residue isn’t washed off properly. The Centers for Disease Control have also stated that contact wearers should refrain from using saliva to wipe their lenses clean, as it has a high bacteria rate and leads to infection quickly.

Consulting A Specialist

The Centers for Disease Control has urged all Americans and citizens across the world who wear contact lenses, or who are interested in wearing contact lenses to contact their medical providers for proper tips and instruction on cleaning and care. Just like any other item that enters an area of your body where it is exposed to bodily fluids, and is in direct contact with you there is always a risk of infection and the transferal of bacteria and other harmful microbes. They also suggest that anybody who feels pain, itching, or is worried about the possibility of the keratitis infection should get medical help immediately.

The keratitis problem is a big one in the United States, especially among the younger generation of contact lens wearers, which means that it is the responsibility of parents and medical professionals to educate this younger group so that careless mistakes aren’t made. With the cost of healthcare leaving more and more financial dents in the lives of citizens across the United States, this is one area of concern that can be avoided is handled properly.

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