Contact lenses can be great, especially if glasses cramp your style or get in the way of more important things. In fact, in some ways, contacts mimic clear, natural vision. It’s no surprise, then, that most people tend to forget or minimize how important it is to use them with care.

Let’s face it. There are generally two kinds of people in the world: Those who write the rules, and those who break them. Most of us fall into the second category. After all, life gets busy and we have too much to think about to get bogged down by (air quotes) safety and (air quotes) doctor recommendations. Nothing bad really ever happens, right?

In 2015, the Centers for Disease Control (definite rule-writers) published a study that found 99 percent of the 41 million contact lens wearers in the U.S. don’t replace their contacts with new ones on time, leave them in while they sleep, shower, or swim, and/or top off and reuse old contact solution.

If so many people are doing it, it’s probably fine, right?

Not so fast. Optometrists and ophthalmologists treat plenty of nasty bacterial and fungal eye infections caused by misuse of contact lenses each year. In fact, the CDC found that about a million people go to the doctor or hospital each year with these types of infections at an annual cost of about $175 million (here’s a link to the data).

So here is the takeaway when it comes to contacts: Leaving them in too long, sleeping or swimming in them, or reusing dirty contact solution is poor hygiene. Just like not brushing your teeth or taking showers, there’s more at stake than judgment from your friends and neighbors. People can, and do, lose their eyesight. The resulting infections can, and do, put your vision at risk over something that can be completely avoided.

The CDC feels this information is so important that, each year, they dedicate an entire week called Contact Lens Health Week to spreading the word. We at Brinton Vision feel it’s so important that we want to give you alternatives.

At Brinton Vision, LASIK and its six modern alternatives are giving people in the St. Louis area visual freedom without glasses or contacts. Dr. Jason P. Brinton is Harvard-educated, award-winning, and world-renowned for researching and teaching other surgeons how to safely and effectively perform these procedures.

Even if you’ve been told in the past that you are not a candidate for LASIK, there may be another answer. To find out what Brinton Vision can do for you, click here to take a quick and simple self-test, or make an appointment to get started by clicking here or calling 314.375.2020.

You’ll love seeing the world in a whole new way—without the risk of contact-related infections.

Dr. Jason P. Brinton is an internationally recognized specialist in the field of LASIK and refractive surgery. He is a graduate of Harvard College, earned his medical doctorate from the Harvard Medical School and is board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology.