Medicine: A Skeptical Eye on Contacts

Complaints about extended-wear lenses are on the rise

Carol Melzer, 30, of La Grange, Ill., was visiting friends in France when the trouble began. "My eye started bothering me on Sunday night," she recalls. "By Tuesday morning I was in the American Hospital of Paris." Her problem: a severe infection apparently caused by her use of extended-wear contact lenses. Though doctors managed to control the infection, Melzer's cornea was so badly scarred that she was virtually blind in her right eye.

Melzer is one of several million Americans who have purchased extended-wear contact lenses, which were introduced six years ago. Like the others, she was attracted by the convenience...

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