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Many Adults Fuzzy on Eye Health

People Prize Their Eyes but Miss the Mark on Eye Care, Survey Shows
By
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Oct. 19, 2007 -- A new survey shows that many U.S. adults need to upgrade their eye care.

The survey of 1,000 adults shows that nearly half -- 47% -- worry more about losing their sight than about losing their memory and their ability to walk or hear.

But almost 30% indicated that they don't get their eyes checked by an eye doctor or an eye care specialist at least every two years.

The American Optometric Association (AOA), which funded the survey, recommends that adults aged 18-60 get their eyes checked at least every two years and annually at age 61 and older.

A little more than two-thirds of the participants reported wearing corrective lenses and/or having had eye surgery. Among those participants, 79% reported bad habits such as:

  • Wearing their contacts while showering, sleeping, or swimming
  • Wearing their contact lenses for longer than suggested

Also, 17% of contact lens users indicated that they had never replaced their contact lens case.

Among all participants -- including those with good vision -- roughly three-quarters didn't know that the leading cause of blindness in the U.S. is macular degeneration.

The AOA provides these tips for contact lens wearers:

  • Always wash your hands before handling contact lenses.
  • Carefully and regularly clean contact lenses as directed by your optometrist (or other eye care provider).
  • Store lenses in the proper lens storage case.
  • Replace the lens storage case at least every three months.
  • Clean the lens case after each use, and keep it open and dry between cleanings.
  • Use only products recommended by your optometrist (or other eye care provider) to clean and store contact lenses.
  • Always follow the recommended contact lens replacement schedule.
  • Remove contact lenses before swimming or entering a hot tub.
  • See your optometrist (or other eye care provider) for your regularly scheduled contact lens and eye examination.

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