Over 30 million people in the United States wear contact lenses. You can rest assured that they are safe. Plus, they are effective in correcting your vision. However, they are not without risks.
Contact Lenses are Medical Devices
We’ve grown so used to using contacts that sometimes we can forget that they are actually medical devices that essentially become part of our eyes. Given that, they need proper cleaning, storing, and wearing to ensure that serious complications don’t arise.
What Are the Risks?
There are a number of risks that can develop:
- Corneal Abrasions: Anything that makes contact with your eye can cause corneal abrasions. They can be extremely painful and you should seek treatment right away. Treatments include antibiotic eyedrops or ointments.
- Eye Infections: Keratitis is an inflammation of the cornea caused by germs such as viruses, bacteria, fungi, or parasites. It is a serious problem that is often caused by improper lens care and cleaning or wearing the lenses too long. You can learn more here.
- Dry Eyes: Contacts can cause dry eyes. I’ve written extensively on dry eye treatments that typically involve eye drops. Supplements can also help.
- Corneal Ulcers: Ulcers are sores in the layer of the cornea. They are typically caused by infection or scratches of the eye. Treatments include antibiotic or anti-fungal medication depending on the cause of the underlying infection.
All these risks can be addressed through ongoing vision care with your eye doctor.
Proper Contact Lens Care
As with any medical device, there are a number of things you need to do to ensure proper lens care as well as to care for your eyes.
- Washing Your Hands: Always wash your hands before handling your contact lenses. This ensures that you’re not adding contaminants to the lenses.
- Use Disinfecting Solution: Never use water or saliva to clean your lenses or to store your lenses. Use only the solution recommended by your doctor. Their recommendation is based on your lens and your eyes.
- Keep Water Away From Your Contacts: Avoid taking showers, swimming, or entering hot tubs with your contacts. Water carries infections and when water enters your eyes, there’s a chance of transfer.
- Don’t Sleep With Your Contacts: This can increase the risk of corneal infection by four or five times.
- Replace Your Contacts on Schedule: Make sure you follow your eye doctor’s recommended replacement schedule.
- Contact Lens Cases: These, too, need to be cared for and replaced. Rub and rinse them with disinfecting solution, never water, and store upside down with caps off after use. Replace the case every three months.
- Visit Your Eye Doctor Regularly: Yearly eye exams are essential to monitor your eyes, make adjustments where needed, or to identify any problems. If you experience problems, never hesitate to see your eye doctor.
Are Contact Lenses Safe?
They are safe and very effective in correcting your vision. But they do have risks. Risks that can be readily addressed through proper lens and eye care as well as from care from a qualified eye doctor.
That’s where Vision Source Plano comes into play. As always, we’re here to provide the very best in vision care, including everything about your contacts.
Give us a call and let’s get started providing you superb vision care.
Use our contact form or call us at 972-612-2099.
Disclaimer: The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.