Contact lenses require proper care to avoid infection. Many adolescents exhibit a habit that puts them at risk, a new study found. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

CDC: Adolescent habits with contact lenses risk eye infection

About six out of seven adolescents who wear contact lenses also engage in a habit that could lead to eye infections, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

About 45 million Americans wear the lenses. And according to the CDC, infections occur most often in people who don’t take proper care of them. The infections are rare but when they occur they can have serious consequences, including blindness.

The improper risk behaviors included:

  • Sleeping in contact lenses
  • Swimming in them
  • Failing to replace lenses or their storage cases as recommended

The CDC for the first time measured the behaviors among adolescents, which it termed children from 12 to 17 years old. The numbers improved slightly for young adults, the next age group. But health officials hope that emphasizing good habits while lens wearers are still kids will help the habits stick.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.