Despite numerous hoaxes circulating the internet, contact lenses are fairly safe to wear. According to the experts, it is not contact lenses that are damaging but the negligence of the users towards them. Contact lenses whether prescription or cosmetic are medical devices that should be handled accordingly, followed by meticulous maintenance & care. Improper usage & dirty hygiene practices may lead to contagious ocular infections, abrasions in cornea, scarring & even permanent blindness. To cut down the risk of infections, it is recommended to practice optimal hygiene. Switching to monthly disposable contact lenses or daily contacts also eliminate chances of contact lens induced infections.
Q. Can Contact Lenses Damage my Eyes?
While contact lenses are safely used by millions of people every day, they do carry a minor risk of infection that is associated with unsafe usage. Shockingly 40% of the consumers were found engaged in handling contact lenses even without washing their hands which multiplies the risk of contagious outbreaks. This must not however, intimidate the users of contact lenses. Over 30 million people wear contacts in US alone and luckily only about 4 in every 10,000 wearers are affected by contact lens related infections every year.
Q. Can I get blind using Contact Lenses?
This is a bitter truth, yes. Unsafe & unhygienic usage may lead to permanent blindness, affecting 1 out of every 500 people. Mixing your contact lenses with water, failing to thoroughly disinfect them and continuing to wear them past the expiry are some of the major factors that contribute to the contraction of acanthamoeba keratitis. Acanthamoeba Keratitis can be as damaging as losing your vision permanently. The virus is quick enough to devour the cornea within 24 hours- too quick to be detected.
Q. How to Prevent the Possible Risks of Infections with Colored Contact Lenses?
First and foremost, make sure your contact lenses are purchased from a reliable source that deals in branded and authentic contact lenses. Fake contact lenses run the risks of horrendous injuries since these cannot be claimed anywhere for incurring the damage. They are manufactured using substandard materials that fade the dyes. What worse, the uneven/jagged edges of fake contact lenses may scar the cornea.
Q. How do I know if my Contact Lenses are Problematic?
Follow one rule of thumb. “When in doubt, take out”. Contact lenses should remain comfortable in eyes. If you find growing redness, inflammation or any unusual symptom; remove your contacts immediately. A new pair of lenses usually takes 5-7 minutes to adjust. Any discomfort that extends this, is not worth taking the risk for.
Modern day contact lenses are made from advanced material that remain supple & moist for longer duration. They are made under state of art laboratories that maintain supreme health standards. People who have had bad experiences in past with contacts are now being benefitted by them. Due to innumerable choices & options, contact lenses are the most resorted vision correction medium. Make sure you disinfect your plastic discs daily only with a pharmaceutical multi-purpose solution. Although these are no rub solutions, rubbing your lenses once in a while significantly reduces the risk of infections by eliminating bacterial growth.
As a last note, we want to emphasize on the importance of “eye exams & follow ups”. Routine visits to your doctor once every year is mandatory even if your eyes seem to work just fine.