ST. LOUIS, July 28 (UPI) — An estimated 34,000 U.S. children and teens visit emergency rooms annually for injuries and complications caused by contact lenses, U.S. researchers found.
Dr. Brock Hefflin and lead author Dr. Cunlin Wang of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, said there has been recent concern about medical device safety in children.
More than 145,000 U.S. children and teens visit the emergency room annually for injuries, and contact lenses are the leading cause, the researchers said. The ER visits are due to eye infections and abrasions caused by simple mistakes like wearing contact lenses too long and not replacing old lens cases.
Forgetting to change contact lenses on schedule is a serious mistake nearly all contact lens wearers make, but replacing contacts just one day late can cause dangerous infections and even blindness, the researchers said.
Contact lens cases are hotbeds for bacteria and fungi and forgetting to swap out an old contact lens case for a new one at least every month could be sight-threatening, the researchers warn.
The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, found the top reason for making contact lenses mistakes was forgetfulness.
There are ways to remind contact lens wearers to remember proper hygiene, such as acuminder from ACUVUE, a complimentary online service at www.acuminder.com to help improve contact lens compliance and eye health or the LensAlert Reminder Timer at ContactLensCareForKids.com.
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