Healthy Habits for Contact Lens Wearers
Recently, I was contacted by Health Magazine to comment on the safety of extended wear contact lenses. The trending story that prompted the interview was regarding a 39 year old man who wore extended wear contact lenses and woke one morning with eye pain and very blurry vision. He was seen by an eyeMD and was diagnosed with an infection of the cornea caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa. This organism causes a severe, rapidly progressive ulcer in the cornea, the clear window on the front of the eye. Corneal scarring and reduced vision is the usual result despite treatment with antibiotics. The patient in question will likely require a corneal transplant to regain his sight.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology released a statement regarding extended wear contact lenses in 2013. Although the lenses are FDA approved for overnight use, studies have shown a 10-15% increase in corneal infection in these lenses compared to daily use lenses. Further, patients who wear these contact lenses are more likely to not properly take care of the lenses or remove them at the recommended intervals. Patients who choose these lenses must be properly educated about the importance of good hygiene and proper cleaning methods. Overnight lenses should be removed and not worn overnight once weekly. When I encounter patients who have been less than perfect with their contact lens regimen, I remind them that LASIK vision correction is safer than their current contact lens habits.
To read the full article in Health Magazine, visit this link.
Michelle Akler, MD
Detroit Area LASIK Surgeon