50% of Corneal Infections Caused by Wearing Contact Lenses without a Prescription

That could have been the title to the article Report Details Corneal Infection Tied to Sleeping in Contacts.

Contact lenses were purchased without a valid prescription in three cases; in one case the lenses were decorative.

This is another case of a misleading title to a decent scientific article. The case study looked at only six (!) contact lens wearers who reported an infection. The real take away from this article is not that sleeping in lenses causes eye infections. (It does increase the risk. However, under careful monitoring, the risk is mitigated.) It is that wearing lenses without a current prescription increases your risk of contact lens related infection.

This article should have been a description of the dangers of leaving the doctor out of the picture. Online contact lens sellers continually say that you can avoid needless trips to the doctor and just buy your contact lenses online.

There is real danger in wearing lenses that you shouldn’t. This editorial from Health Day News misses an opportunity.