CDC warns majority of contact lens users aren't using proper car - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

CDC warns majority of contact lens users aren't using proper care

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) -

According to the CDC, nearly 41 million Americans wear contact lens and nearly every one of them is, more than likely, using them wrong.

"You have to treat them with respect," Dr. Kayce Strohmeyer said "Anytime you have discomfort with your contacts, redness of your eyes or blurriness of your eyes, take out your contacts and give your eye care provider a call."

Strohmeyer said misuse often starts with how you clean them.

"The mistakes that I see most often is using the wrong solution or not using fresh solution every time they clean their contact lenses," she said.

One of the more common problems is using outdated solution and Strophmeyer warns when you run out of solution, never use water.

"When you use water, whether it be tapped water or purified water, it can have microbes in it," she said. "The worst case-scenario is that the micro embedded into the contact lens and then it has an opportunity to infect your eyes."

Cara Mcelmurry has worn contacts for two years and said the CDC findings don't worry her.

"It doesn't scare me because I use mine right, but everybody I know who wears them I try to encourage them," Mcelmurry said.

One tip Mcelmurry said keeps her on track is setting alerts on her phone, so she knows when to change them. 

"Set a reminder!" she said. "Set a reminder, we all have phone now you can set a reminder when you're supposed to throw them away. Reminder is what reminds me that I'm wearing them however long I am supposed to be wearing them."

Strohmeyers said one of the most important things is treating your contacts with care, to reduce the chances of getting an infection.

"They're a medical device that goes on your eye and if you take care of them properly they will serve you wonderfully," Strohmeyers said. "If you abuse them then they can really cause problems."

Some other tips Dr. Strohmeyer suggests include:

  • Wash your hands: Make sure you wash them before applying any new contacts to your eyes.
  • Replace contact lens cases: Cases are recommended to be replaced every 3 months, so no bacteria gets built up.
  • Never sleep in your contact lens: Sleeping in your lenses can trap bacteria on the surface of your eyes and could put you at an even higher risk for an ulcer.

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