Beware your contact lenses. Wearing them appears to change the natural bacterial environment of the eyes, reports HealthDay News of research from the New York University School of Medicine. Led by Maria Dominguez-Bello, the team collected samples at the beginning of the study from 58 adults to analyze bacteria on the eye surface and the skin below the eye. Twenty of the participants wore contacts, and the researchers also collected bacteria found on their lenses. Additional samples were taken from another 20 participants, about half of whom wore contact lenses, at three points over the next six weeks. for those who do not wear contact lenses, the bacterial composition of the eye is very different from that of the surrounding skin — with greater or lesser amounts of specific bacteria. for those who do wear contact lenses, bacteria that are normally found on the skin around the eye were found also on the surface of the eye. How did the skin bacteria get into the eye? The researchers aren’t sure. It could have been transferred by fingers to the lens or it could just be from the act of wearing contacts. What should you do? Be smart about contact lens hygiene. Wash your hands with soap and hot water before handling your contacts. Clean the contacts per the manufacturer’s instructions, and replace disposable lenses on schedule. Never sleep with your lenses in your eyes. Replace disinfecting solutions monthly and lens cases every three months.