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Lax Contact Lens Use Main Cause for Infections

How often do you sleep in your contacts?

A new government report says sloppy care of contact lenses is a main reason for hundreds of thousands of eye infections each year.

The reports estimates that there are nearly 1 million patient visits to doctor's offices, clinics and hospitals for treatment of an infection of the cornea called keratitis (kehr-uh-TEYE-sis). Most cases are mild irritations or redness, but a very small number are severe and can lead to blindness.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the report Thursday.

CDC officials say keratitis often occurs when contact lenses are worn overnight or are not properly cleaned or stored.

About 38 million Americans wear contact lenses. Other researchers have estimated 1 to 10 percent suffer keratitis or other eye problems.

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(Photo: 237/Sam Edwards/Ocean/Corbis)

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