Eye health and vision problems from contacts lenses can be prevented by avoiding known risky behaviors. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention almost all of the 41 million estimated contact lens wearers in the United States may be engaging in at least one behavior known to increase their risk of eye infections. Nearly one-third of contact lens wearers who participated in a national survey reported going to the eye doctor for red or painful eyes related to wearing contact lenses. More than 99 percent of survey respondents reported at least one risky behavior. The majority of wearers reported:

• Keeping their contact lens cases for longer than recommended (82.3 %)
• “Topping off” solution in the case by adding new solution to the existing solution instead of emptying the case out fully before adding new solution (55.1%)
• Wearing their lenses while sleeping (50.2 %)

Each of these behaviors has been reported in previous studies to raise the risk of eye infections by five times or more!
An online survey was administered to a sample of contact lens wearers to determine how often contact lens wearers engaged in behaviors that could put them at risk for an eye infection. CDC collaborated with the Contact Lens Assessment in Youth (CLAY) group, a multi-university group of researchers, to conduct the survey. A separate survey was used to estimate the number of contact lens wearers – about 41 million adults. Taken together, the survey results indicate that millions of Americans could be at risk for serious eye infections because of poor contact lens hygiene behaviors.

We know that contact lenses can be worn safely if wearers are mindful of using good hygiene. To prevent eye infections, contact lens wearers should:
• Wash hands with soap and water and dry them well before touching contact lenses
• Take contacts out before sleeping, showering or swimming
• Rub and rinse contacts in disinfecting solution each time they remove them
• Rub and rinse the case with contact lens solution, dry with a clean tissue and store it upside down with the caps off after each use
• Replace contact lens cases at least once every three months
• Avoid “topping off” solution in lens case (adding fresh solution to old solution)
• Carry a backup pair of glasses in case contact lenses have to be taken out

If you or someone you know have questions about contact lens care, hygiene, safety and how to avoid eye infections from contact lens wear, or wish to have a contact lens consultation or fitting, please call The Eye Clinic of Texas, an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, at 800-423-3937, visit The Eye Clinic of Texas, Google+ or facebook.com/ecot.lasik.

The Eye Clinic of Texas is an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, the largest ophthalmology clinic in the nation. We are a leading eye care practice serving the greater Houston, Galveston, League City and Texas City with offices at 1100 Gulf Freeway, Suite 114, League City, Texas 77573, 7111 Medical Center Drive, Suite 110, Texas City, Texas 77590 and 2302 Avenue P, Galveston, Texas.

Contact lenses can help self esteem for teens according to Galveston & Houston Ophthalmologist Allan Fradkin, M.D. of The Eye Clinic of Texas. “Contact lenses can play an important role in helping adolescents-especially teenagers-with some difficult times for their self esteem and self image. Teens and tweens are often quite challenged during adolescence by the “Trifecta of Awkwardness-braces, acnes and glasses!” commented Dr. Fradkin. “I know all too well from my own kids, the peer pressure and insecurity created by concerns about appearance at these ages,” Dr. Fradkin stated.

Not being able to play sports or worrying about how they look can leave many teens feeling anxious, stressed out and unhappy. “We love fitting children in this age group with contact lenses because we routinely see that teens who wear contact lenses benefit beyond simply correcting their vision. They typically improve in how they feel about their physical appearance, their acceptance among friends and of course their ability to play sports,” further explained Dr. Fradkin.

If you or someone you know would like to learn more about contact lenses or schedule an appointment for a contact lens fitting please call The Eye Clinic of Texas at 800-423-3937, visit The Eye Clinic of Texas or facebook.com/ecot.lasik to schedule an appointment.

The Eye Clinic of Texas is an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, the largest ophthalmology clinic in the nation. We are a leading eye care practice serving the greater Houston, Galveston, League City and Texas City with offices at 7155 Old Katy Road, Houston, Texas 77024, 1100 Gulf Freeway, Suite 114, League City, Texas 77573, 7111 Medical Center Drive, Suite 110, Texas City, Texas 77590 and 2302 Avenue P, Galveston, Texas 77550 that provide all aspects of general, medical, surgical, laser and optical eye care services.

Allan Fradkin, M.D., Galveston & Houston eye doctor at The Eye Clinic of Texas reviewed an iPhone app to help contact lens wearers. “A new app is available for use on iPhones and iPads that provides a convenient way to keep track of how many times you have worn your reusable contact lenses. No more having to wonder if it’s time to replace your contacts. This is a nice way to help keep your contact lenses safe and your eyes healthy,” commented Dr. Fradkin. “Proper lens replacement is critical to your eyes’ health when wearing contacts. The app is available at iTunes for contact lens wearers to have a look at.”

If you or someone you know would like to learn more about the iPhone and iPad app for contact lenses, please call The Eye Clinic of Texas at 800-423-3937, visit The Eye Clinic of Texas or facebook.com/ecot.lasik to schedule an appointment.

The Eye Clinic of Texas is an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, the largest ophthalmology clinic in the nation. We are a leading eye care practice serving the greater Houston, Galveston, League City and Texas City with offices at 7155 Old Katy Road, Houston, Texas 77024, 1100 Gulf Freeway, Suite 114, League City, Texas 77573, 7111 Medical Center Drive, Suite 110, Texas City, Texas 77590 and 2302 Avenue P, Galveston, Texas 77550 that provide all aspects of general, medical, surgical, laser and optical eye care services.

Patients who are contact lens wearers and thinking about LASIK in Houston should be aware that contact lens induced dry eyes are a real clinical condition that we may need to address prior to your LASIK surgery. “Dry eyes can be a very real problem for both rigid and soft contact lens wearers. Researchers reporting in the Eye & Contact Lens: Science & Clinical Practice demonstrated that both rigid and soft contact lenses negatively impacted the tear film surface quality. This research is important to keep in mind when contact lens wearers present for LASIK consultations since the evaluation of the tear film quality and quantity is a critical consideration of determining the patient’s candidacy for any type of Laser Vision Correction-but especially for LASIK surgery,” commented LASIK Surgeon Dr. Da-Thuy Van of The Eye Clinic of Texas serving greater Houston & Galveston. “Given that a significant number of our Houston patients electing to have LASIK today are indeed contact lens wearers and that dry eye is probably the most common side effect of LASIK that we see with our patients, we need to be aware that some of the pre LASIK tear film abnormalities that we find are actually due to their contact lens wear and that with a sufficient amount of time without contact lens wear many contact lens wearers who want LASIK will recover a normal tear film surface quality and be able to proceed,” noted Dr. Van.

Contact lens patients considering LASIK or any type of Laser Eye Surgery for vision correction are encouraged to find the best LASIK Surgeons in their area and have a thorough evaluation, examination and consultation in order to find out if they are good candidates.

If you or someone you know has a question about LASIK, contact lenses, dry eyes or would like to schedule a Free LASIK Consultation please call The Eye Clinic of Texas at 800-423-3937, visit The Eye Clinic of Texas or facebook.com/ecot.lasik to schedule an appointment.

The Eye Clinic of Texas is an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, the largest ophthalmology clinic in the nation. We are a leading eye care practice serving the greater Houston, Galveston, League City and Texas City with offices at 7155 Old Katy Road, Houston, Texas 77024, 1100 Gulf Freeway, Suite 114, League City, Texas 77573, 7111 Medical Center Drive, Suite 110, Texas City, Texas 77590 and 2302 Avenue P, Galveston, Texas 77550 that provide all aspects of general, medical, surgical, laser and optical eye care services.

Galveston & Houston Ophthalmologist Allan Fradkin, M.D. shared some tips for maintaining healthy eyes and vision and wearing contact lenses. “We remind patients that contact lenses are a medical device and even those worn purely for cosmetic purposes, should be prescribed and properly fit by a licensed eye care professional,” explained Dr. Fradkin. “Too many patients forget this and end up buying and wearing contact lenses without proper medical guidance and a valid prescription. Then, often without even realizing it, they put themselves at risk for serious, even blinding eye infections.”

Following the instructions given to you by your eye doctor-carefully and completely can go a long way to help avoid contact lens problems and complications. “Our experience clearly shows that by not following instructions on proper wear and care, contact lens wearers are more likely to have discomfort and may actually put themselves at greater risk for infection or other serious complications, such as microbial keratitis,” said Dr. Fradkin. “We often find that improper storage, handling and disinfection of contact lenses really predispose patients to unnecessary risk.”

Some good contact lens care, handling and disinfection tips to follow include:

  • Always wash your hands with soap before inserting or removing your contact lenses.
  • Always empty the storage case of disinfection solution after removing your lenses, and fully refill with fresh solution before storing them.
  • NEVER clean your case with tap water.
  • REGULARLY-even daily- clean your case.
  • REGULARLY-at least monthly- replace your case.

If you or someone you know has questions about contact lens care, handling and disinfection please feel free to call The Eye Clinic of Texas at 800-423-3937, visit The Eye Clinic of Texas or facebook.com/ecot.lasik to schedule an appointment.

The Eye Clinic of Texas is an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, the largest ophthalmology clinic in the nation. We are a leading eye care practice serving the greater Houston, Galveston, League City and Texas City area that provides all aspects of general, medical, surgical, laser and optical eye care services. Our Board Certified Ophthalmologists perform Laser Eye Surgery such as LASIK, Cataract Surgery & Lens Implants using advanced technology IOLs to correct complex problems such as astigmatism and near vision focusing problems including presbyopia, diagnosis and management of glaucoma, diagnosis and management of diabetic retinopathy, diagnosis and management of Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and Pediatric Ophthalmology. Texas EyeWear at The Eye Clinic of Texas provides personalized consultation and fitting of eyeglasses and eyeglass lenses for greater Houston, Galveston, League City and Texas City area patients.