According to some new research, wearing reusable contact lenses could lead to blindness!
This is because it increases the risk of developing a rare infection known to cause loss of sight.
More precisely, the study, published in the journal Ophthalmology, suggests that those who wear multi use contact lenses are almost 4 times more likely to develop corneal infection than those who wear single-use disposable lenses!
The condition is known as acanthamoeba keratitis and the University College of London researchers have determined that reusing contact lenses, as well as wearing them in the shower or while sleeping increases the risk of getting it.
Professor John Dart, the lead author, shared via Medical News that “In recent years we’ve seen an increase of acanthamoeba keratitis in the U.K. and Europe, and while the infection is still quite rare, it’s preventable and warrants a public health response.”
As part of the research, the team of scientists recruited more than 200 patients from the Moorfields Eye Hospital, including 83 people dealing with corneal infections.
They were then compared to other 122 participants who had completely different conditions.
This is how they determined that those who wore reusable lenses were 3.8 times more likely to develop acanthamoeba keratitis as opposed to the people who used daily lenses.
This led to the conclusion that around 30 to 62 percent of eye infections in the U.K. can be avoided by simply swapping reusable contact lenses for disposable ones.
The researchers say that Acanthamoeba keratitis causes pain and inflammation to the eye and is responsible for around half of contact lens users losing their sight.
In fact, contact lens use is the number 1 cause of corneal infection in healthy patients.
Developing this infection can also be prevented by always filling your contact lens storage case with fresh solution every time you open it, as per the Cleveland Clinic.
Dart points out that this ailment is rare but very dangerous so it’s good to be safe, adding that “Contact lenses are generally very safe but are associated with a small risk. Given that an estimated 300 million people across the world wear contact lenses, it’s important that people know how to lower their risk of developing keratitis.”