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Young people 'risk eye infections'

Tuesday July 6th 2010

Young people have become vulnerable to serious eye infections due to "lazy" attitudes towards contact lens care, an expert has warned.

Southampton General Hospital eye unit consultant Parwez Hossain has called for people to follow simple safety advice to avoid permanent damage.

Mr Hossain said: “Young people still tend to be quite relaxed and carefree when it comes to the appropriate hygiene standards required for wearing contact lenses and that is reflected in the higher number of people under 50 being treated for severe cases of corneal infection.”

Among the UK's three million contact lens wearers there are approximately 1,200 new cases of lens-related infection microbial keratitis each year, while a recent patient audit at the hospital's eye unit found the number of infections were higher among 20 to 40-year-olds.

Although opticians and ophthalmologists have consistently voiced safety concerns, Mr Hossain believes the lack of awareness of the dangers of poor care among the public is still endemic.

He said the main consequence of poor judgement when purchasing products online is the heightened risk of developing chronic red eye, progressing to infection or ulceration.

Copyright © Press Association 2010

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