Nearly 30 million Americans wear contact lenses, and it’s no wonder why. They allow you to see without the added distraction of wearing glasses and are ideal for athletes. However, contact lenses require upkeep and attention on a daily basis.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) organized Contact Lens Health Week as a strategy to increase public awareness and promote healthy contact lens wear and care. Contact Lens Health Week is Aug. 20-24. It has been going on for five years now.
This year’s campaign theme is “Healthy habits mean healthy eyes.” They are encouraging healthy contact habits in order to keep your eyes healthy over time.
This year’s health messages cover three key areas:
1. Healthy contact lens hygiene habits.
2. Proper use, care and storage of contact lenses and supplies.
3. Regular visits to an eye care provider.
Contact Lens Health Week 2018 includes messages and materials suitable for all contact lens wearers and eye care providers. Additionally, the campaign includes messages for children, young adults and their parents about starting healthy contact lens habits early. Practicing proper contact lens wear and care habits, such as not sleeping in contacts, can promote good vision and healthy eyes throughout life.
Next time you’re tempted to pass out without removing your contacts, consider this cautionary tale. Meabh McHugh-Hill, a 23-year-old college student, left her lenses on too long and they dried to the point of gluing themselves to her eyeballs. She then made the fatal error of hastily trying to remove them and accidentally tore the top layer of her eye away, giving herself a corneal ulcer (an abscess or sore on the eye).
Be careful contact wearers. It may not seem like such tiny lenses can harm you, but they most definitely can. For more information, visit the CDC website.
Written by Savannah Oliver, Campus Life Editor. Graphic by Bethany Davis.
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