Contact lenses are perhaps among the most revolutionary technologies invented for the eyes. They are small, light, and highly functional. Except for those times when you lose them, they usually mean you don’t have to bother with wearing cumbersome glasses just to have crisp, 20/20 vision. However, wearing contact lenses is not without its risks, especially when you do not take extra care to use it as prescribed by your doctor.
Here are some of the conditions you can contract from wearing contact lenses for extended periods of time:
- Dry eyes. This is the most common complaint from wearers of contact lenses. Fortunately, doctors can address this problem in many ways, one of which is having you change to a different type of lenses or ones made of a different material. You may also opt for disposable lenses. Some doctors may prescribe special lubricants that will help maintain the moisture of your eyes.
- Swollen corneas. This condition is also called corneal edema and may result from wearing contact lenses for extended periods of time. Some lenses can be too tight, too thick, or worn for too long that they reduce the amount of oxygen received by the eyes. This results clouded vision or red, painful eyes. Treatment options include discontinuing the use of contact lenses or applying special ointments or drops that would reduce the swelling.
- Corneal neovascularization. This is another condition that may arise from wearing contact lenses that prevent oxygen from getting to your eyes. This is characterized by the growth of new blood vessels, resulting in loss of vision which can be treated only through a corneal transplant. Using high-oxygen lenses can mitigate the risk of developing the disorder. This condition does not have any symptom, so regular check-ups will help your doctor identify the problem before it gets worse.
- Giant papillary conjunctivitis. This is the swelling of the conjunctiva common during the allergy season among people who wear soft contact lenses. The condition is suspected to arise from wearing old or dirty contacts, or wearing the lenses for too long. You may develop itchy, irritated eyes and blurry vision. To treat the conjunctivitis, you can switch to less rigid lenses and use cleaning products that do not have allergy-inducing preservatives.
- Corneal ulcers. This is an infection caused by the proliferation of bacteria in the moist space between the contact lens and the cornea. This condition can be very painful and may cause scarring in the cornea. Your eyes may become red and sensitive to light, and your vision blurry. Early medical attention and discontinuing contact lens use are usually enough to treat the problem.
Contact lenses are great but as with anything, using it has its own share of side effects. Some of these problems can be solved quickly, but some can be bad enough to cause permanent damage. Religiously following your doctor’s advice and submitting yourself for check-up regularly will help ensure any disorder is identified early on and that you get the most out of your contact lenses.