Younger people who wear contact lenses are being advised to take care when inserting, removing and storing the products to ensure they stay as safe as possible.
Parwez Hossain, a consultant ophthalmologist at Southampton General Hospital, has warned that young people still tend to be "quite relaxed and care-free" when it comes to the appropriate hygiene standards required for wearing contact lenses.
He pointed out that that is reflected in the higher number of people under 50 being treated for severe cases of corneal infection, which can easily be avoided.
"It may seem as though we are rehashing old warnings, but the fact is people have become much more liberal with lenses and, when coupled with an explosion of cheap online stores in the last five to ten years, the consequences can be grim," Mr Hossain warned.
Data issued by the hospital shows that there are around 1,200 new cases of contact lens-related infection microbial keratitis each year in the UK, with the number of infections being higher among the common lens-wearing ages of 20 to 40 year-olds.
by Adrian Galbreth