Improper contact lenses care can lead to serious eye infections that can in turn lead to longer term problems, including scarred corneas, according to a study published in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).

The report, which included information on 1,075 contact lens-related infections that were reported to a Food and Drug Administration database, noted that 1 in 5 contact lens related infections often led to more serious eye complications and that patients often went to urgent care or an emergency department for treatment related to the infection. 

The report was released a few days before the start of Contact Lens Health Week, which runs August 22-26 and promotes healthy contact lens practices. The report and the week’s events also raised awareness related to unhygienic behaviors that led to infections, including sleeping in contact lenses, “topping off” contact lens solution, and not replacing lenses as recommended by a doctor.

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Cope JR, Collier SA, Srinivasan K, et al.  Contact Lens–Related Corneal Infections — United States, 2005–2015. MMWR. 65(32);817–820.