In Sight: The Dangers of Contact Lenses

Learn why you should always discard your contact lenses on time.

A pair of soft contact lenses on a wet surface

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If you’re one of the 45 million contact lens wearers in the U.S. and follow usage instructions, you’re in the minority. Shockingly, 40 to 90 percent don’t follow recommendations, including discarding and replacing lenses after a certain period. This behavior increases the risk of keratitis, an infection that results in a million doctor visits annually. One study reported that patients being aware of the risks associated with improper use or hygiene did not influence better behavior in 80 percent of the population. So be aware of best practices, but if you are noncompliant and fortunate to have not yet experienced complications, you should consider safer alternatives such as glasses or LASIK surgery to reduce your risk of blinding eye infections.

—Francis W. Price Jr., M.D., is a world-renowned ophthalmologist and founder of the Cornea Research Foundation of America (, a nonprofit dedicated to helping give people back the use of their eyes.

This article is featured in the March/April 2020 issue of The Saturday Evening Post. Subscribe to the magazine for more art, inspiring stories, fiction, humor, and features from our archives.

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