Symptoms Of Contact Lens Issues
Pain and Irritation
An improperly fitted contact lens and other factors can lead to stinging, burning, and the sensation of a foreign object in your eye.
Dry eye syndrome can affect anyone, but symptoms can be more pronounced because of contact lenses.
Contact lens wearers may notice increased redness in their eyes. This is often due to wearing lenses for longer than the prescribed time.
Are there more serious conditions I need to worry about?
Infections, Abrasions & Corneal Swelling
A number of contact lens issues can lead to corneal abrasions and infections, which can cause serious ocular health problems. It is important to contact your doctor immediately to prevent these complications from becoming worse.
What causes these conditions?
Tight-Fitting Lenses & Bacteria Buildup
Your doctor takes great care to measure your eye and ensure a comfortable fit. Commonly, those who wear contacts for cosmetic purposes experience a poor fit.
Wearing damaged lenses or keeping contacts in for too long can cause injury to the cornea. A sharp edge on a damaged or dried contact lens can scratch the delicate tissues of the cornea.
Improper Cleaning and Storage
Improper cleaning and storage of contact lenses can contribute to bacterial buildup, often leading to an infection. Infections can cause keratitis, and contact wearers are more prone to conjunctivitis (pink eye).
How can I protect my eyes?
"People who wear contact lenses overnight are more than 20 times more likely to get Keratitis. Wearing contacts and not taking care of them properly is the single biggest risk factor for Keratitis."
Jennifer Cope, Medical Epidemiologist, CDC.
Proper Use Is Your Best Defense
Do Not Sleep in Your Contacts
Falling asleep with your contact lenses in, or just wearing them for extended periods of time, can contribute to serious problems. Although some lenses are designed for extended wear and are safe to sleep in, removing your contacts can reduce the risk of developing eye conditions.
Proper care and cleaning
Replacing your contacts storage case every three months can help prevent the development of bacteria. Use a cleaning solution that is specifically designed for contacts and always make sure that your hands are clean when handling your lenses.
Take Care with Makeup and Eye Drops
Soft contact lenses can absorb chemicals from makeup and eye drops, resulting in a buildup of materials that can cause problems. Follow your doctor's instructions when it comes to avoiding certain products.
What can I do if my contacts are causing problems?
Contact Your Doctor Immediately
|30 minutes||None||Up to 2 weeks|
Your doctor can determine if an issue related to your contact lenses is causing your symptoms. Many issues can be diagnosed with a visual examination, while others may require a culture to be analyzed in a lab to determine the type of infection.
A simple eye exam can often reveal any issues your contacts may be causing.
What treatments are available?
Replacing, Refitting, or Reevaluating Your Contact Lenses
Many problems can be solved by switching your contacts for a different type of lens.
Other problems may be solved by remeasuring your eyes and using a lens that is better suited to the shape of your eye.
Changing between soft or hard lenses, reusables or dailies, or choosing to wear eyeglasses instead of contacts can eliminate many of the problems associated with contact lenses.
I have noticed redness and swelling...
Contact Your Eye Doctor
Many contact wearers experience problems with their lenses, especially when using new lenses. Contact your doctor immediately to discuss your issues and find a solution for your needs.
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