How A Dependence On Contact Lenses Poses Risks To Your Health

Eye Safety
Health Risks Of Contact Lens Dependence

Contact lenses are medical devices used to improve vision. They can correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. You were probably thrilled to graduate from glasses to wearing contacts, but now perhaps the “thrill is gone.”

Because they are medical devices, they must be handled and maintained properly. Unfortunately, not everyone is as conscientious as they should be. It’s a fact that your dependence on contact lenses poses risks to your health.

The First Problem

Contact lenses are placed directly on your cornea, hence the name contact lenses. This very fact can lead to serious complications and risks.

Our eyes need moisture and oxygen to remain healthy. Wearing contact lenses every day inhibits that needed moisture, leading to dry eye symptoms, blurred vision, red itchy eyes, and pain, all symptoms of inflammations and complications from contact lenses. If you find yourself needing to use OTC moisture all day, then your dependence on contact lenses may be the problem.

Problems with Infections

If you tend to procrastinate or fail to remove your contacts before bed, you set yourself up for problems with infections. If you don’t carefully clean your contacts daily, clean and change out your case, and wash your hands prior to removing or inserting contact lenses, you also become susceptible to irritations, corneal ulcers and infections. These behaviours increase risk as bacteria becomes caught between your lenses and your cornea.

Eye infections develop quickly and can be quite serious. In extreme cases infections can lead to blindness. Some glaring symptoms include:

  • Excess tearing
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Itchy or burning eyes
  • Discharge

If you experience any combination of these symptoms, see an ophthalmologist as soon as possible.

Problems with Injured or Scratched Corneas

A common risk to dependence on contact lenses is a corneal abrasion. This painful complication should also be treated by an eye professional. It is easy to scratch the cornea while inserting or removing contact lenses.

Reduce the Risks

Never clean your contact lenses with water. Water can cause your lenses to swell and change shape. Once this occurs, they tend to stick to your eyes and can slide to the corner, making them difficult to remove.

Never “top off.” This is the practice of filling up your cleaning case without thoroughly cleaning it first.

Never keep a lens case beyond 3 months. Even if you are diligently cleaning it, it is still wise to frequently purchase a new one.

Never sleep or take a nap with contacts.

Never put on your eye makeup before you insert contact lenses. Always do the reverse. In the evening take them out prior to removing makeup.

The majority of patients do not use proper contact lens hygiene and fall into bed without removing contacts.
Can you relate?

You can avoid all these pitfalls and risks to your eye health by reducing or eliminating the need for contacts.

Research has shown that the risk of vision loss with LASIK is lower than a lifetime of wearing contact lenses. Maybe it’s time to re-think those little plastic devices.

The eye professionals at South Texas Eye Institute are ready to free you from both the dependence and the risks.

Choose the best LASIK in San Antonio.

Contact us today!