MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Jennifer R. Cope MD
Division of Foodborne, Waterborne, and Environmental Diseases
National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: Wearing contact lenses can increase your chances of getting a severe eye infection. Eye infections can lead to serious problems, including blindness. All contact lens wearers can help prevent serious eye infections by correctly wearing and caring for their contact lenses.
Eighty-one percent of young adults, 85% of adolescents, and 88% of older adults regularly did at least one risky behavior related to their contact lenses. The most frequently reported risk behaviors in adolescents were not visiting an eye doctor as least annually, sleeping or napping in lenses, and swimming in lenses.
Among young adults and older adults, the most frequently reported risk behaviors were replacing lenses at intervals longer than those prescribed, replacing lens storage cases at intervals longer than those recommended, swimming in lenses, and sleeping or napping in lenses.
MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Response: It is important for people who wear contact lenses to properly clean their lenses and regularly visit an eye care provider to keep their eyes healthy.
Replace your contact lens case regularly. Don’t sleep or nap while wearing contact lenses; this can increase the chance of infection by 6 to 8 times. Don’t swim or shower while wearing contact lenses. Germs commonly found in water can get into your eye.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Response: Encouraging adolescents to adopt healthy contact lens wear and care habits early might help them maintain these habits into young adulthood. Prevention messages targeting young adults can be shaped around the lifestyle changes known to occur in this period of life.
Disclosures: CDC receives an annual contribution from the Contact Lens Institute to support CDC’s Healthy Contact Lens Program. The Contact Lens Institute had no involvement in the survey questions, analysis, drafting, or review of this manuscript.
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Citation: Cope JR, Collier SA, Nethercut H, Jones JM, Yates K, Yoder JS. Risk Behaviors for Contact Lens–Related Eye Infections Among Adults and Adolescents — United States, 2016. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2017;66:841–845. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6632a2.
Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.