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The Truth About US Contact Lens Habits Is Pretty Disturbing

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Most wearers put themselves at risk.

A new report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention drills down on Americans’ contact lens habits — and the results aren’t pretty.

The study was geared toward understanding younger contact lens wearers. It looked at contact lens wear, care behaviors, risk factors and demographics among adolescents, young adults, and adults aged 25 years and up.

Among all age groups, the vast majority of contact lens wearers reported at least one behavior that put them at risk for an eye infection. The rates were:

  • Adolescents — 85 percent.
  • Young adults — 81 percent.
  • Older adults — 88 percent.

“Although adolescent contact lens wearers engage in some healthier contact lens hygiene behaviors than do their adult counterparts, there is room for improvement in order to prevent potentially serious outcomes including blindness,” the CDC wrote.

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The most frequently reported risk behaviors in adolescents were not visiting an eye doctor as least annually, sleeping or napping in lenses, and swimming in lenses, according to the report. Among young adults and older adults, the most frequently reported risk behaviors were replacing lenses at intervals longer than those prescribed, replacing lens storage cases at intervals longer than those recommended, swimming in lenses, and sleeping or napping in lenses.

 

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