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Contact lens hygiene report published by CORE

The organisation has highlighted techniques to prevent microbial keratitis and corneal inflammation

A contact lens covered in bacteria

A new contact lens hygiene report has highlighted how poor hand washing habits can lead to the development of microbial keratitis and corneal inflammation.

The review has been produced by the Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE) and published in Contact Lens and Anterior Eye.

The report highlights techniques to prevent microbial keratitis and corneal inflammation, such as careful and thorough hand washing with soap and water followed by hand drying.

It also notes that more frequent fitting of daily disposable contact lenses has reduced contamination due to removal and discarding after each wearing period.

Other innovations include new lens packaging designs that minimise the interaction between the finger and the lens surface, as well as a disinfecting component included in the lens blister pack solution.

Bacteria on contact lenses

Co-author of the paper and director of CORE, Lyndon Jones, said: “While proof that hand washing reduces infection dates back to the mid-1800s, we’re still facing significant issues in having consumers change their hygiene behaviours.”

 “In compiling this review of public health literature, our hope is to make the facts and possible mitigation strategies more accessible to eye care professionals. They’re on the front lines of helping contact lens wearers understand that eye health is literally in their own hands,” he added.

CORE has published a series of photos (pictured) that demonstrate the rate of bacteria growth associated with handling contact lenses, which are available for use by practitioners.

Watch OT’s hand washing skills guide video below.