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Healthy eyes result from healthy contact lens wear

It is summertime – time for travel, vacations, and fun in the sun! It is also the time of year that we may be out of our daily routines. That makes it the perfect time to review tips for healthy contact lens wear.

Over 30 million people in the US wear contact lenses [1]. (REF) and between 40%-90% of contact lens wearers do not properly follow the care instructions for their contact lenses [2]. Although contact lenses are comfortable, provide good vision and are usually safe, contact lenses do not come without risks – particularly if they are not cared for properly.

Healthy contact lens wear is critically important to prevent microbial keratitis. Almost one million visits for microbial keratitis or contact lens complications occur annually and the single greatest risk factor for microbial keratitis is contact lens wear [3]. Other risk factors include the hygiene routine, contact lens handling, disinfecting solution, and the storage case. [4]

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Melissa Barnett OD, FAAO, FSLS
Dr. Melissa Barnett is a Principal Optometrist at the UC Davis Eye Center in Sacramento. She is an internationally recognized key opinion leader, specializing in anterior segment disease and specialty contact lenses. Dr. Barnett lectures and publishes extensively on topics including dry eye, anterior segment disease, contact lenses and creating a healthy balance between work and home life for women in optometry. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry, a Diplomate of the American Board of Certification in Medical Optometry (ABCMO) and serves on the Board of American Optometric Association (AOA) Cornea and Contact Lens Council, Women of Vision (WOV), Gas Permeable Lens Institute (GPLI), Ocular Surface Society of Optometry (OSSO) is Immediate Past President of The Scleral Lens Education Society (SLS). Dr. Barnett is a spokesperson for the California Optometric Association and a guest lecturer for the STAPLE program. She was awarded The Theia Award for Excellence for Mentoring by Women in Optometry (WO) in 2016.