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Contact lens hygiene

A recent case control study in the British Medical Journal- Ophthalmology (1) looks at risk factors for corneal infection in behaviours of daily contact lens wearers.

Showering whilst wearing contact lenses was identified as the greatest risk factor, increasing the risk of corneal infection up to 7 x with daily showering in contact lenses.

Other risk factors were sleeping in contact lenses or being aged 25-54.

Showering in contact lenses increases the risk to introduce potential pathogens to the cornea, whilst sleeping in contact lenses may reduce oxygenation of the cornea.

Thus approximately 2/3rd of corneal infections related to contact lens wear in turn relate to incorrect use of daily contact lens wear.

The risk of corneal infection overall was approximately one in 2,500

This is not to say the risk of corneal infection is higher in contact lens wearers than in those receiving laser vision correction. A meta-analysis of studies (2) found the risk of losing “two lines of best (corrected) vision” on a vision chart was low for both contact lens wear and laser vision correction with LASIK. Contact lens wear did not pose a higher risk of vision loss than LASIK surgery for the most common uses of contact lenses.

1.BMJ Open Ophthalmol. 2020 Sep 8;5(1):e000476.Personal hygiene risk factors for contact lens-related microbial keratitisAnna Stellwagen 1 2, Cheryl MacGregor 1, Roger Kung 1 2, Aristides Konstantopoulos 1, Parwez Hossain 1 2

2. Ophthalmic Physiol Opt. 2020 Mar;40(2):241-248.

The risk of vision loss in contact lens wear and following LASIK

Yvonne Tzu-Ying Wu 1, Arthur Ho 1 2 3, Thomas Naduvilath 1 3, Chris Lim 4, Nicole Carnt 1 3, Lisa J Keay 1 2, Katie P Edwards 2 5, Fiona Stapleton