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CDC: Contact Lens Wearers are Taking Chances with Their Eyes

2015-08-21 14_26_32-find contact lenses - Google SearchNearly all of the 41 million Americans who use contact lenses admit they engage in at least one type of risky behavior that can lead to eye infections, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researchers reported Thursday.

“Good vision contributes to overall well-being and independence for people of all ages, so it’s important not to cut corners on healthy contact lens wear and care,” Dr. Jennifer Cope, a medical epidemiologist at the CDC, said in an agency news release. “We are finding that many wearers are unclear about how to properly wear and care for contact lenses,” Cope said.

Four-fifths admitted keeping their contact lens cases for longer than recommended, and more than half said they add new solution to the existing solution instead of emptying the contact lens case first. About half reported wearing their contact lenses while sleeping.

Each of these behaviors boosts the risk of eye infections by five times or more – CDC

Each of these behaviors boosts the risk of eye infections by five times or more, according to the CDC. The study was published in the Aug. 21 issue of the agency’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

The CDC outlined the following ways contact lens wearers can reduce their risk of eye infections:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water, and dry them before touching contact lenses.
  • Remove contacts before sleeping, showering or swimming.
  • Rub and rinse contacts in disinfecting solutions each time you remove them.
  • After each use, rub and rinse the contact lens case with solution, dry the case with a clean tissue and store it upside down with the caps off.
  • Don’t add fresh solution to old solution.
  • Replace contact lens cases at least once every three months, and carry a pair of backup glasses in case you have to remove your contact lenses.
 
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Posted by on August 21, 2015 in Tips

 

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A Mild Corneal Abrasion Caused By Trying New Contacts

fluorescein eye exam - Google Search - Google Chrome_2013-12-10_13-30-40Well the question as to whether my grafted cornea has fully regrown its nerves has been answered with a resounding “YES”

I have been hoping to make the transition to “regular” contacts and so have been testing a series provided to me by my fitter.  Two of the types of lenses were “too tight” meaning that they did not move around the eye enough and were difficult to get out.

It seems that during one of the tests, where the lens was sticking in one place through the day, I caused an microscopic abrasion on my cornea.  I had started feeling a persistent burning/lash sensation on my graft and, being a hyper-vigilant paranoid patient, went in to see Dr. Koffler.  He applied florescence and at first didn’t see anything. But after a few moments he found a minor abrasion in the middle of the grafted cornea and concluded this was the source of my discomfort. The graft looked fine, by the way.

muro-solution

I took a break from the lenses, applied Muro 128 and have settled back into using the “custom” 3-month lenses I was originally using, but with an updated prescription.

Everything is fine now as we move into the holidays.

 
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Posted by on December 10, 2013 in Diary Entries

 

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Pre Holiday Update – New Contacts Prescription

Okay this will be a short one as I’m heading home to be with family for the holiday.

After having the most recent set of sutures out, the shape of my eye shifted (as predicted) so I needed new lenses.  This presents a challenge for fitters, but one thing has made the difference… The “auto-refractor”…a device that helps contacts fitters get “close” quickly using a computerized measurement.  If your eye care provider is not using one, ask about it.

Using that piece of equipment has helped my fitter get closer to my vision needs than she seems to be able to do with manual adjustments.  Then, after the device has spit out its numbers, she refines it to the last degree by hand.  My numbers shift rather radically over time.  I previously went to see my fitter within a few days of the suture removal, and then again today (3 weeks later.)   My vision had shifted even more – so next time I will wait longer before making a fitting appointment.

I did have one nagging quality issue with the lenses – two of them got little notches around the rim for no apparent reason.  It created a mild itch, and when I looked up under the light, I could see it.  Luckily, the manufacturer will stand behind them.  This has me inclined to have an additional backup on hand.  Otherwise I’m thrilled.

A new set of lenses is on order now, to be to me after the first of the year.

Happy Holidays!

 
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Posted by on December 21, 2012 in Diary Entries, Tips

 

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Glitz and Beauty Pageant Colored Contacts – from Convenience Stores!

Someone just sent this to me.   I was going to post a photo, but have decided not to.

“In glitz pageants, you will see the use of hairpieces, heavy make-up, deep spray tans, fake teeth (called flippers), false eyelashes, and colored contacts worn by the majority of the contestants.”

She went on to say that mothers are putting these lenses on kids under 8 years old.  And some kids are even losing their sight.  Many are bought in discount shops or… wait for it…. gas stations.

“So, we’ve seen these kids go through a lot of torture primping: spray tans, shellacked locks, pinned-on wigs, waxed eyebrows, glued-on eyelashes and shoved-in flippers. But tonight stacks the deck: Colored contact lenses. “Maybe I’m a little bit too young to have contacts,” Desiree tearfully notes as her coach, Miss Chambrie, attempts to stick the purely cosmetic lenses into the kid’s eyes with her French-manicured talons.”

Stop the madness.  This is child endangerment.  

 

 
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Posted by on November 12, 2012 in Diary Entries

 

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Little Things: Autumn Colors in Kentucky

And without warning, seemingly overnight, Autumn has reached Kentucky.  Our trees now begin their show and we head into our relatively mild winters here.

With my new eyesight, I’ve enjoyed autumn this year more than usual.  I’ve spent days outside on weekends with my hobby and taken in every minute detail.

It’s so much more than sharpness – it’s color saturation that comes with the new eyes.

Blog Theme Update

It’s also been a long time since I’ve updated the blog’s look.  So I hope you like the new theme I’ve chosen moving us into the cooler months.

 
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Posted by on October 16, 2012 in Little Things That are Better

 

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Quick Update: No News is Good News

Hello to everyone. I’ve been getting email asking how things are going so I thought I’d post a quick update and catch everyone up. The site is seeing quite a bit of traffic

First of all, I am still wearing the soft, custom lens on my grafted eye. I’m still very pleased with it. I went ahead and ordered a couple of pair of them which should keep me going until my next appointment with Dr. Holland. If he removes sutures, my prescription is likely to change some – so I don’t want to have expensive lenses I just throw away (these lenses last 3 months.)  My vision is about the same as it was in July.  Not pin-prick-perfect, but very close.   With my right eye working with the grafted one, I have great vision.

I’m so happy with the night driving. We took a trip to Atlanta last week and I did a lot of night driving then. It was wonderful to be able to just drive on and get the trip done while others snoozed in the car.  We were going to dragon*con, and while we were there I noticed that many of the attendees in costume were wearing those weird colored contact lenses.  I shuddered to think about the damage they could do being in there for 18+ hours a day.

My allergies have been a bit of an issue, but nothing like last year. I’m taking daily allergy meds and my eyes don’t get very itchy anymore.  I take a daily Zyrtec as I’ve mentioned before.

I’m still compulsive about protecting my graft and it’s paid off recently. The other day an extension cord in my garage came down and whacked me on my safety glasses covering the grafted eye! Anytime I’m doing yard, garage or basement work, I wear something.  I think it would have hit me in the eye directly!

I don’t have that much news beyond this.

Keep the comments and questions coming – I’m happy to try to answer them.

image by Tjerk Zweers used under creative commons CC:Attribution 2.0 Generic.

 
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Posted by on September 7, 2012 in Diary Entries, Recovery

 

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Tiny Update: Soft Lenses Rock

photo (CC) Kate Ter Haar

My newest set of soft lenses are amazing.  Comfortable (16 hours+) and I can see pretty well.  Not quite as crisp as the RGP, but the comfort trade-off is worth it.  My overall vision is amazing.

I’ve ordered a few of these lenses ($50 per pair) which are custom crafted for my topography.  I’m not wanting to order too many because the shape of my eye will probably change a bit more if sutures come out, etc.

 
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Posted by on July 30, 2012 in Recovery, Vision Improvements

 

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Little Things: Stargazing

I just went on a 2 week family vacation to CA.  Lots of night driving.  Not a peep out of my contact lens, and never any pain at all and wore them for 14+ hours daily.   We went to Yosemite and at 5000 feet elevation, found a remote field and just went stargazing for a few hours with my kids.  Did you know that most kids never see a starry night?  It was the first time I’d done this since cornea transplant surgery – and it was wonderful.  I had my new soft lens in place and each star was a pinprick.  Meteors, satellites and more.   I imagined my donor out there somewhere.  I think we might join a stargazing group in Lexington.

 
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Posted by on July 23, 2012 in Little Things That are Better

 

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DALK Transplant – Stellar Follow Up + New Soft Lens Trial

photo: Logan Ingalls

Well, it’s been a good week for my DALK recovery.  I went back to Dr. Holland for my graft checkup and he said it was perfect.  I also corrected to 20/20 on their refraction gear.  I had already ordered a new, special soft contact (see last post) and was not able to take it with me to Dr. Holland.  He wasn’t bothered by that and said that if the soft lens worked for me, it would be fine for my eye.

The downside to the soft lens (at least the first one I tried) is it corrected me only slightly better than 20/30.  This means there is room for improvement.  But the comfort is … amazing!   The fitter (Tamra at Dr. Koffler’s office here in Lexington) seems to think that I should wear it for a week and then we may want to correct the power to hit near 20/20.

Other questions answered:

  • Sutures:  We’ll take them out if they degrade.  Otherwise, he said, leave them in for now.
  • Graft Fragility:  I had lots of anxiety about the graft’s fragility, but Dr. Holland told me to quit worrying.  It would take a severe trauma to disturb the graft now that it’s healed up.
  • Rejection Period:  I’m exiting the prime rejection period for DALK.
  • Glasses:  Dr. Holland said to go ahead and make the lenses for glasses.
  • PRK/Lasik is still an option if we cannot make contacts work.   Insurance won’t pay for that in KY (or OH.)
  • If we run into suture issues (e.g. one breaks) we will remove them all at once.
  • He said it was right to stop wearing the RGPs if they were hurting.  He said I should be pain free and use whatever gives that to me.

Exciting!

 
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Posted by on June 8, 2012 in Dr. Visits, Recovery, Surgery-Story

 

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Trying Different RGPs – My lens tolerance is only a few hours.

Well, as usual, this is going to take some trial and error!

I have tried three different RGPs (Essilor Perimeter Lens) and cannot tolerate any of them – the mini-scleral was pushing a “grove” into my sclera – apparently my eye was swelling around it?

I can wear them 7-8 hours, but my eye is very sore afterward.    I am now going to be trying a custom-profiled soft lens.  The manufacturer apparently uses my topography to construct them.  I was hoping I could use a soft lens, so we’ll soon know.

Koffler Vision Group is doing a great job.

photo:  Lee J Haywood

 
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Posted by on May 24, 2012 in Diary Entries, Recovery, Vision Improvements

 

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