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These Are The Most Common Wear And Care Habits That Contact Lens Users Overlook


More than 30 million people wear contact lenses. Studies from the Centers for Disease Control say most users wear and maintain them incorrectly. 

Dr. Judith Yep, an optometrist with Parkland Hospital, says a contact lenses are an FDA-approved medical device. But she says you have to develop and keep good habits in using them. If you follow doctor’s orders about cleaning, how to wear the lens and when to replace them, contact lenses are very safe to use.

Dr. Yep explains why people often fail to follow instructions.

According to the CDC:

  • Serious eye infections that can lead to blindness affect up to 1 out of every 500 contact lens users per year.
  • Not following proper contact lens care instructions has been linked to outbreaks of serious eye infections.
  • Between 40-90 percent of contact lens wearers do not properly follow the care instructions for their contact lenses.
  • Improper cleaning and irregular replacement of contact lenses and contact lens cases — as well as other behaviors relating to contact lens hygiene and care — have been linked to a higher risk of complications.
  • Keratitis — a painful eye infection often linked to improper contact lens use — leads to 1 million doctor and hospital visits annually, at a cost of $175 million to the U.S. healthcare system.

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Sam Baker is KERA's senior editor and local host for Morning Edition. The native of Beaumont, Texas, also edits and produces radio commentaries and Vital Signs, a series that's part of the station's Breakthroughs initiative. He also was the longtime host of KERA 13’s Emmy Award-winning public affairs program On the Record. He also won an Emmy in 2008 for KERA’s Sharing the Power: A Voter’s Voice Special, and has earned honors from the Associated Press and the Public Radio News Directors Inc.