Pretty much everyone who wears contact lenses is somehow doing it wrong. That's the headline from a report just out from the Centers for Disease Control. This is alarming news. It's also an opportunity for independent eyecare businesses to talk about safer, smarter contact lens use.
In a news release issued today, the CDC reported, "Almost all of the 41 million estimated contact lens wearers in the United States may be engaging in at least one behavior known to increase their risk of eye infections," and one-third of those in the national survey say they'd gone to a doctor for help with painful eyes.
The problem is that many people visit an eye doctor for a prescription, then they disappear and do all kinds of crazy stuff like buying contacts online for as cheap as they can find them, then wearing them too long; sleeping in their contacts; topping off solution; and so on. If they're walking with their Rx and buying contacts from a big-box retailer or online vendor, the potential for abuse is much higher.
This is also the time of year when college students -- who are major contact lens users -- go back to school, eager to save on something after paying for books and tuition. Of course, everyone loves a bargain. But these are eyes we're talking about. Saving money on a six-pack of beer may be a good idea. But pinching pennies on contact lenses? (Or falling asleep in your contacts after drinking that beer?) Not so much.
Aug. 24-28 is the second annual Contact Lens Week. So if you're an independent eyecare professional, do your community a favor: Call up a local reporter today and offer to talk about the CDC report and how people can be safer with their contact lenses.