JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Sept. 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Soft contact lenses are worn safely and comfortably by millions of people worldwide, and have a long history of providing wearers with a safe and effective form of vision correction when properly worn and cared for. However, research shows that many contact lens wearers are significantly non-compliant in virtually all active steps involved in soft contact lens wear, including hand washing, case hygiene, lens disinfection, and following the recommended lens replacement schedule.
To help new and current contact lens wearers better understand how to safely wear and care for their contacts, Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc. has developed a new educational resource, Healthy Vision & Contact Lenses, available at www.acuvue.com/press.
"A contact lens is a medical device and all contact lenses, even purely cosmetic ones, should be prescribed and properly fit by a licensed eye care professional," explains Sheila Hickson-Curran, BSc (Hons), MCOptom, FAAO, Director of Medical Affairs, VISTAKON® Division Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc. "By buying and wearing contact lenses without medical guidance and a valid prescription, you may put yourself at risk for serious, even blinding eye infections."
"Compliance during each step of contact lens wear and care has a well-documented impact on the rate of complications," according to Hickson-Curran, co-author of a study1 that surveyed frequent replacement contact lens wearers about their attitudes and behaviors regarding compliance with soft contact lenses. "By not following instructions on proper wear and care, contact lens wearers are more likely to experience discomfort and may put themselves at greater risk for infection or other serious complications, such as microbial keratitis," she notes.
Healthy Vision & Contact Lenses offers helpful "Do's and Don'ts" for handling and wearing contact lenses, and offers some easy-to-follow steps on how to reduce the risk of contact lens-related infection through proper use and care of contact lenses as well as lens-care products such as contact lens cases.
Infections in contact lens wearers are often found among individuals who improperly store, handle, or disinfect their contacts, advises Hickson-Curran. Nearly half of survey respondents in the study admitted to not having washed their hands with soap prior to lens insertion in the morning (44%) and removal in the evening (49%). And, although 75 percent reported that they emptied disinfecting solution from the lens case in the morning, only 46 percent reported that they filled the lens case with fresh solution. "Failure to empty and replace the full volume of contact lens disinfecting solution was one of the few significant behavioral factors found in the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention investigation of the Fusarium outbreak of 2005," she notes.
Cleaning and regularly changing your contact lens case also is important as bacteria can grow in contact lens cases. In the same study, one-in-three contact lens wearers (33 percent) said they cleaned their cases monthly or less often. In addition, most patients reported methods of cleaning the lens case that involved exposure to tap water, very likely without understanding that there is a risk involved with such action. "NEVER rinse your lenses in water from the tap," stresses Hickson-Curran. "Tap water contains many impurities that can contaminate or damage your lenses and may lead to serious eye infections and loss of vision."
VISTAKON® is a trademark of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc.
1Source: Hickson-Curran, S, Chalmers, R, Riley, C, "Patients attitudes and behavior regarding hygiene and replacement of soft contact lenses and storage cases." Cont Lens Anterior Eye. 2011 Oct;34(5):207-15
SOURCE VISTAKON(R) Division of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc.