Poor Hygiene Habits Increase Contamination of Contact Lens Cases

Pharmacy Times, May 2015 Skin & Eye Health, Volume 81, Issue 5

Those who wear contact lenses and have poor hygiene practices increase the bacterial contamination of their lens cases, according to a recent study.

Those who wear contact lenses and have poor hygiene practices increase the bacterial contamination of their lens cases, according to a recent study. The study, published in Optometry and Vision Science, analyzed the used contact lens cases of 119 contact lens wearers. The participants also completed a questionnaire regarding their hygiene habits.

The research team found that 66% of the examined contact lens cases tested positive for bacterial or fungal contamination, and of these, nearly 40% contained multiple organisms. Also, the cases of patients who had worn contact lenses for 2 years or longer were found to have a higher level of contamination than those who started to wear contacts within the previous 2 years, suggesting that contact lens wearer become more relaxed with their hygiene practices over time.

The researchers identified 3 hygiene habits, in particular, that were associated with higher levels of contamination: not washing hands with soap and water before handling contact lenses, not air drying the lens case, and using mismatched lens cases and disinfecting solutions. The study authors recommended that patients clean their lens case by rubbing it with washed hands, dry the lens case face down, and replace their lens cases every time they use a new bottle of disinfecting solution.