Right now, the United States is home to almost 41 million adults who wear contact lenses. However, according to facts put forward by a recent federal survey, almost every single individual in that group is doing something for getting germs in their eyes. These germs are making the majority of them suffer from eye infections.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around one-third of these people have admitted that they had to visit a doctor to undergo treatment for painful or red eyes.
The federal survey informed that more than half of the contact lens wearers have admitted that they napped or slept with their lenses on. Around 55% said that instead of changing the lens solution and washing the case well, they just topped the solution off; and 61% admitted that they swam with the lenses on. These numbers were collected after a group of 1000 people were questioned by the surveyors.
The survey was done only on adults. Experts at CDC believe that teenagers and younger kids are more likely to be careless about their lens hygiene. According to the CDC report, around one-third of people wearing contact lenses reported that they always rinse their lenses using tap water and 16.8% reported that they always store their lenses in tap water.
Also, the survey team also found that over 90% of people wearing hard or rigid lenses occasionally use tap water to rinse their lenses.
After presenting all these facts and figures, CDC said that it’s not safe to use household tap water to clean or store contact lenses. This is because although household tap water is absolutely safe for drinking, it’s not sterile and contains different microorganisms; as a result, it can contaminate contact lenses and the cases they are kept in and eventually cause eye infections.
The report says that a large share of the US population wears contact lenses, as a result of which bad contact lens hygiene is putting many Americans at risk of developing costly and painful eye infections that might eventually cause vision problems.
According to information provided by the report, almost 1 million people visit doctors with complications caused by contact lenses or keratitis (corneal inflammation) annually and spend around $175 million for treating those conditions.