Wearing contact lenses could harm eye bacteria, according to a new study by researchers at New York University's Langone Medical Center.
"Our research clearly shows that putting a foreign object, such as a contact lens, on the eye is not a neutral act," senior researcher Maria Gloria Dominguez-Bello, PhD said in a news release.
The study, which Time reports was presented at the annual meeting for the American Society for Microbiology, compared colonies of living bacteria in lens-wearers and non-wearers. Those who wore contact lenses had bacteria similar to that of bacteria typically found on skin, perhaps because finger skin bacteria gets transferred to lenses when people handle them.
The sample size is quite small — 20 people — and researchers say there's more work left to be done before they could suggest changes to eye care.