Contact lenses are usually a safe and effective form of vision correction
Contact lenses are usually a safe and effective form of vision correction

Contact lenses are usually a safe and effective form of vision correction; however, they are not devoid of risks. A contact lens is a medical device that requires lots of care and personal cleanliness to decrease the chance of eye infection. It is necessary to clean and store lenses as directed to keep it safe and away from contamination for a long time. Hygiene is a critical aspect of the long-term safety of contact lenses.

What healthy habits can keep the contact lens safe?

Some of the healthy habits that can promote long-term safety of lens are as follows:

  • Don’t sleep in your contact lens as it can increase the risk of infection by eight folds.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water before handling the lens.
  • Keep the contact lenses away from water, as it can lead to infection.
  • Rub and rinse the contact lenses with the prescribed contact lens solution only.
  • Dispose of the solution before refilling the lens case. Never just “top” off the solution.
  • Do not change the contact lens solution without consulting the doctor.
  • Replace the contact lens at least once every three months; better use disposable contact lenses.
  • Remove contact lenses while swimming or during any water sports.
  • Always dry your hands before handling the contact lenses.
  • Regularly visit your eye doctor.
  • Always carry a backup pair of glasses with the current prescription.
  • Never keep contact lenses in saline or sterile water solution.
  • Never use contact lenses intended for someone else.
  • Eye make-up is ideally avoided with contact lenses in the eye.

What are the benefits of using contact lenses?

The benefits of contact lenses include:

  • It corrects the following vision problems:
  • It can feel and look natural as it moves with the eyes.
  • It may help slow the development of near-sightedness in children and teens.
  • It does not fog up like glasses when outdoors.
  • Well-fitting contact lenses remain in place on the eyes and improve side vision during sports and activities.
  • It can be cosmetically appealing and can also improve the person’s confidence.

What are the risks of using contact lenses?

Complications that arise with the usage of contact lenses can be effortlessly resolved by temporarily not wearing the lenses. Most of the risks associated with contact lens use may cause mild symptoms or no symptoms at all. The risks associated with contact lens usage include:

  • Allergies of the eyes
  • Dry eyes
  • Giant papillary conjunctivitis (bumps that show up beneath the eyelid)
  • Corneal abrasion (a scratch or scrape on the cornea)
  • Corneal infiltrates (inflammation of the cornea causing irritation)
  • Neovascularization (new blood vessels growing onto the cornea causing eye redness)
  • Contact Lens-induced Acute Red Eye (CLARE) (redness or irritation caused due to contact lenses)
  • Microbial keratitis (infections of the cornea)
  • Ptosis (eyelids start drooping)
  • Corneal ulcer (open sore caused by the fungus, bacteria, or parasite infection)
  • Diminished corneal reflex (reduces the protective mechanism of the eye where the brain signals the eyelids to close to protect the eyes)

Consult a doctor immediately, if the following symptoms do not resolve hours after removing the lens:

  • Light sensitivity
  • Intensifying pain in or around the eyes
  • Unexpected blurry vision
  • Irritated, red eyes
  • Unusually watery eyes or discharge

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Medically Reviewed on 11/9/2020
References
https://www.cdc.gov/contactlenses/protect-your-eyes.html