Prevent Blindness Declares October Is Contact Lens Safety Awareness Month

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CHICAGO—Prevent Blindness has declared October as Contact Lens Safety Awareness Month in an effort to educate the public on the best ways to obtain, care and use contact lenses.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 46 million Americans wear contact lenses. However, the use of contact lenses also brings a higher risk of infections. Causes may include sleeping in lenses when not approved by an eye doctor, not cleaning the lenses or lens case properly, sharing lenses, or wearing contact lenses during water activities.

A new Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report from the CDC shows that more than 80 percent of contact lens wearers reported at least one behavior that put them at risk for a contact lens-related eye infection. The report broke down the rates by age groups, where 85 percent of adolescents (ages 12-17), 81 percent of young adults (ages 18-24), and 88 percent of older adults (ages 25 and older) practiced unsafe lens use.

“We encourage anyone who is interested in wearing contact lenses to visit an eyecare professional first,” said Hugh R. Parry, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness. “And, we want to remind all contact lens wearers to remember to take the necessary steps every day to care for them safely to keep their eyes healthy for years to come.”

For more information on contact lens safety, visit Prevent Blindness’ dedicated webpage with free information here or call 1-800-331-2020.