CDC: 85 percent of teens risk eye infection due to poor contact lens habits

A majority of teenagers who wear contact lens practice at least one habit that increases their risk of eye infection, according to the CDC's most recent Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

For the report, researchers surveyed contact lens wearers to generate estimates on American's wear and care habits of, including the 3 million U.S. adolescents who wear contact lenses.

Here are five key findings from the report.

1. Eighty-five percent of U.S. contact wearers ages 12 to 17 years practiced a wear or care habit that increased their risk of eye infection.

2. Forty-four percent of adolescents reported not visiting an optometrist or ophthalmologist in the last year.

3. Thirty percent reported sleeping while wearing lenses.

4. Twenty-seven percent reported wearing lenses while swimming.

5. The most frequently reported bad care habit listed by adults (ages 25 years and up) and young adults (ages 18 to 24 years) was not changing their contact lenses as often as prescribed. Fifty-two percent of young adults and 45 percent of adults reported this behavior.

"Contact lenses are a safe and effective way to correct your vision when they are worn and cared for as recommended," said Jennifer Cope, MD, medical epidemiologist in CDC's Waterborne Disease Prevention Branch. "However, adolescents and adults can improve the way they take care of their contact lenses to reduce their risk of serious eye infections."

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