A new study shows that reusable contact lenses can cause blindness

Do not lose sight of the dangers of contact lenses!

New eye-opening research shows that wearing reusable contact lenses may lead to a rare infection that causes vision loss.

According to research published in the Journal of Ophthalmology, people who wear multi-use lenses are nearly four times more likely to develop a blinding corneal infection than people who use single lenses.

Researchers from University College London have found that reusing lenses and wearing them overnight or while showering increases the risk of developing this condition known as acanthamoeba keratitis.

The study’s lead author, Professor John Dart, told Medical News: “In recent years, we have seen an increase in acanthamoeba keratitis in the UK and Europe, and although the infection is still rare, it is preventable and requires a public health response.”

During the study, researchers recruited more than 200 patients from Moorfields Eye Hospital in London, including 83 people with corneal infections, and compared them to 122 participants who presented to clinics with other conditions.

University College London researchers found that reusing the lenses and wearing them overnight or while showering increases the risk of developing acanthamoeba keratitis.
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They found that people who wore reusable soft contact lenses were 3.8 times more likely to develop keratitis, compared to those who wore disposable contact lenses.

The researchers concluded that an estimated 30-62% of eye infections in the UK could be prevented if people switched from reusable lenses to daily disposable lenses.

In general, acanthamoeba keratitis — which causes eye pain and inflammation — is responsible for about half of contact lens users who develop vision loss, according to the researchers.

The researchers said that the use of contact lenses is not. The primary cause of corneal infection in patients with healthy eyes in Northern Hemisphere countries.

Portrait of a person holding a case of lenses and glasses.
According to the new study, 30-62% of eye infections in the UK could be prevented if people switched from reusable lenses to disposable lenses.
Getty Images / istockphoto

This disease can be prevented by making sure that your contact lens storage case is filled with fresh solution each time you open it and that you do not sleep in your contact lenses, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

Although Acanthamoeba keratitis is rare, it is responsible for about half of contact lens users who develop vision loss after a corneal injury.

“Contact lenses are generally safe but are associated with small risks,” Dart said. “Given that an estimated 300 million people worldwide wear contact lenses, it is important for people to know how to reduce their risk of developing keratitis.”

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