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Healthy Contact Lens Wear

Woman inserting contact lens in eyeYou only have one pair of eyes, so take care of them! Taking proper care of your contact lenses can help you see better and keep your eyes healthy. 

When cared for properly, contact lenses can provide a comfortable and convenient way to correct vision while working and playing for the more than 40 million people in the United States who wear them. Although contact lenses are usually a safe and effective form of vision correction, they can increase your chance of getting an eye infection—especially if they are not cared for properly.

Healthy Habits = Healthy Eyes

You can enjoy the comfort and benefits of contact lenses while lowering your chance of an eye infection. Failure to wear, clean, and store your lenses as directed by your eye doctor increases the chance of getting germs in your eyes and causing complications. Contact lens-related eye infections can lead to long-lasting damage but are often preventable. Even minor infections can be painful and disrupt day-to-day life. Your contact lens wear and care habits, supplies, and eye doctor are all essential to keeping your eyes healthy.

What You Can Do

Contact lens wearers should take simple steps to prevent contact lens-related eye complications.

1. Don't wear contact lenses while sleeping unless directed to do so by your eye doctor.

  • Studies have shown that wearing contact lenses while sleeping increases the chance of an eye infection by 6 to 8 times.

2. Replace your contact lenses as often as recommended by your eye doctor.

  • Studies have shown that contact lens wearers who do not replace their lenses as often as recommended have more complications and report more eye problems than other contact lens wearers.

3. Don't "top off" solution. Use only fresh contact lens solution in your case—never mix fresh solution with old or used solution.

  • Adding new solution to used solution can lower germ-killing power.

Visit CDC's Healthy Contact Lens website to learn more tips and recommendations you can follow to protect your eyes.

What CDC Is Doing

Spring Break Awareness

From March 6 to March 10, 2017, CDC will encourage students to continue wearing and caring for their contact lenses properly while on Spring Break.

Contact Lens Health Week

August 21-25, 2017, marks the fourth annual Contact Lens Health Week. CDC organized Contact Lens Health Week as a strategy to increase public awareness and encourage contact lens wearers to adopt healthy habits that can reduce their chances of getting an eye infection.

A number of tools and materials are available to help promote Contact Lens Health Week and healthy contact lens wear and care throughout the year.

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