A new national survey shows poor lens care hygiene by many contact lens wearers, says a September 19, 2013 news release, "National Survey Opens Eyes to Poor Lens Care Hygiene, Revealing that Contact Lens Wearers are Blind to Bad Habits and Putting Eyes at Risk." The online survey of 1,000 contact lens wearers in the U.S. (excluding dailies wearers) who have been wearing contacts for a year or longer at Alcon data on file, 2013 revealed the following answers that revealed a lot of poor lens care hygiene for those who wear contacts.
Wearers admit to frequently “topping off” and reusing old disinfecting solution; using tap water to clean and store lenses and 73% of lens wearers in the U.S. surveyed believe they can tell when their contact lenses are dirty just by looking at them – but just because they look clean doesn’t mean they are that way.
Bad habits when it applies to contact lens hygiene
Most contact lens wearers in the U.S. put their eyes at risk by cutting corners and adopting bad habits when it comes to contact lens care hygiene and practices, according to a global survey conducted by Wakefield Research for Alcon, according to the Alcon data, 2013.
In fact, the findings from the survey of 1,000 contact lens wearers in the U.S. indicate that contact lens wearers cut corners in their lens care hygiene that they would never do when it comes to other personal hygiene routines. For example, nearly all 76% consumers surveyed wouldn’t bathe in yesterday’s bath water. Yet 96% of U.S. contact lens wearers surveyed reuse or “top-off” lens solution, instead of pouring it out and using fresh solution each day, the Alcon data survey revealed.
This common habit does not effectively clean or disinfect contact lenses, and can actually put their eye health at risk, according to data from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, "Ensuring Safe Use of Contact Lens Solution," accessed on May 30, 2013.
Bacteria and fungus can grow in a contact lens storage case if lens solution is reused or topped off
According to the survey, a majority of consumers admit to a number of behaviors that could lead to dirty lenses, and ultimately, discomfort or infection. For example, storing contact lenses in tap water rather than in disinfecting solution (35% of wearers in the U.S.) or failing to rinse lenses with disinfecting solution before placing them in their lens storage case (55% of wearers in the U.S.).
Other common “bad habits” include wearing lenses for additional or more days than recommended by the manufacturer (66%), failing to disinfect your contact lenses overnight, and before taking them out of the lens case and putting them in your eye, and rinsing a contact lens by putting it in the mouth, instead of using disinfecting solution.
These behaviors may seem minor, but they can lead to serious eye health issues
Many lens wearers do not realize their lens care behavior is a problem until they have a problem, which they then bring to the attention of their ECP. Those surveyed admitted they actually haven’t had a detailed discussion with their ECP about lens care in an average of three years. Consumers can find more information on proper lens care hygiene, as well as additional resources on the pour that out site.
Alcon, the global leader in eye care, provides innovative products that enhance quality of life by helping people worldwide see better. The three Alcon businesses - Surgical, Pharmaceutical and Vision Care - offer the widest spectrum of eye care products in the world. Alcon is the second largest division of the Novartis Group, with pro-forma sales of USD 10.2 billion in 2012.
Headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, USA, Alcon has more than 24,000 employees worldwide, operations in 75 countries and products available in 180 markets. For more information, visit the Alcon site.