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Healthy Contact Lens Wear

Woman inserting contact lens in eye

You 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 safe and effective way to correct vision. In fact, more than 45 million Americans wear contact lenses. However, wearing contact lenses can increase your chance of getting an eye infection — especially if you do not care for them the right way.

Healthy Habits = Healthy Eyes

You can enjoy the comfort and benefits of contact lenses while lowering your chance of an eye infection. Follow your eye doctor’s instructions for how to wear, clean, and store your lenses to lower the chance of getting germs in your eyes that could cause infections. Contact lens-related eye infections can lead to long-lasting damage to your eyesight. 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.

Watch the real stories of three people who got an eye infection due to improper wear and care of contact lenses.

Graphic: Don’t let poor contact lens wear and habits ruin your look. Follow these recommendations for bright eyes!

Don’t let poor contact lens wear and habits ruin your look. Follow these recommendations for bright eyes!

What You Can Do

If you wear contact lenses, take simple steps to protect your eyes.

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. 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 its germ-killing power.

3. Don’t swim or shower while wearing contact lenses.

  • Germs found in the water can stick to your contacts and cause a serious eye infection.

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

What CDC Is Doing

CDC works to increase awareness of behaviors and risk factors that can affect the eye health of people who wear contact lenses. As part of that work, CDC provides recommendations about properly wearing, caring, and maintaining your contact lenses. Watch the stories of Whitney, Te, and Ryan to get an inside look on how their contact lens wear and care habits led to serious contact lens-related eye infections.

Contact Lens Health Week

August 20-24, 2018, marks the fifth annual Contact Lens Health Week. CDC organized Contact Lens Health Week to 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.