Focus group: Care of contact lenses lowers risk of infections, complications

Many people who use contact lenses risk infection and other complications because they don’t know how to care or wear them, a recent UT Southwestern Medical Center study shows.

More than 35 million people in the U.S. wear contact lenses. Most users are between 26 and 39, and about 65 percent are women.           

Study authors Drs. Danielle Robertson and Dwight Cavanagh, ophthalmologists at UT Southwestern, say the most common risky behavior is not replacing lens solution daily; exposing the lenses to tap water; not replacing storage cases; and not washing hands before handling the lenses.

Using tap water for lens cleaning and wearing lenses while showering can leave contact lens wearers open to infections that can result in substantial vision loss if not identified early.

 UT Southwestern ophthalmologists offer these tips:

  • Always wash your hands before handling contact lenses.
  • Rub the contact lenses with fingers and rinse thoroughly before soaking lenses overnight in multipurpose solution that completely covers the lens.
  • Store lenses in the proper case and replace the case at least every three months.
  • Clean the case after each use and keep it open and dry between cleanings.
  • Never re-use solution. Change solution according to the manufacturer's recommendations.

For more information on UT Southwestern’s clinical services in ophthalmology, visit or call 214-645-2020.

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