New research shows that reusable contact lenses can cause blindness

Don’t be blind to the risks of your contacts!

Wearing reusable contact lenses can lead to a rare infection that causes blindness, according to new research.

According to a study published in the journal Ophthalmology, people who wear reusable lenses are almost four times more likely to develop a corneal infection that causes blindness than people who wear disposable lenses.

Researchers at the University College of London found that reusing lenses and wearing them overnight or in the shower increases the risk of developing a condition called acanthamoeba keratitis.

“We have seen an increase in acanthamoeba keratitis in recent years in the UK and Europe, and while the infection is still rare, it is preventable and guarantees a public health response,” lead author Professor John Dart told Medical News.

During the study, researchers recruited more than 200 patients from Moorfields Eye Hospital in London, including 83 people with corneal infections, and compared them to 122 participants who came to clinics with other conditions.

Researchers at the University College of London found that reusing lenses and wearing them overnight or in the shower increases the risk of acanthamoeba keratitis.
Getty Images / iStockphoto

They found that people who wore reusable soft contact lenses were 3.8 times more likely to develop acanthamoeba keratitis compared to those who wore day-to-day lenses.

The researchers concluded that around 30-62% of eye infections in the UK could have been prevented if people had switched from reusable to day-old lenses.

Overall, around half of contact lens wearers who experience vision loss are responsible for acanthamoeba-induced keratitis, which causes eye pain and inflammation, according to researchers.

Scientists say that using contact lenses does not. 1 cause of corneal infections in patients with healthy eyes in the countries of the northern hemisphere.

Photo of the person holding the contact container and glasses.
According to a new study, 30-62% of eye infections in the UK could be prevented if people switched from reusable lenses to daily ones.
Getty Images / iStockphoto

Ailments can be prevented by making sure the contact lens storage container is filled with fresh solution every time you open it and that you are awake with contact lenses, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

Although acanthamoeba keratitis is rare, it accounts for about half of contact lens wearers who experience blindness following a corneal infection.

“Contact lenses are generally very safe, but with little risk,” said Dart. “With about 300 million people worldwide wear contact lenses, it’s important for people to know how to minimize the risk of developing keratitis.”

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