These are heaven-sent for people who do not like the idea of wearing very cumbersome glasses and other eye-wear. Getting your first set of contact lenses would feel like an amazing upgrade to eyeglasses. You can see the world more clearly just by popping them in and you would look good too! They can fit in easily onto the eye and allow you to perform numerous tasks that might be uncomfortable in glasses such as traveling, exercising, etc
To maximize their benefits and keep their side effects to a minimum, you should see your doctor regularly and make sure to use your lenses properly to avoid being exposed to some side effects which could even affect your vision in the long run.
There are several ways wearing contact lenses can go wrong, but one of the most harmful and common is wearing them for longer than you should.
the former contains very small pores that trap fluids, gases, and other contaminants away from your eyes. Over time, your lenses’ pores become clogged, they harden, and they begin to house bacteria. All of this can result to decreased performance, as well as risk to your eyesight.
For this reason, it is essential that you replace your contact lenses regularly. Even when cleaned, old contacts can pose threats, putting your corneas at risk. While they are safe to use through the day, it’s best to give your eyes enough time to rest.
Your cornea is one of the only places in your body that doesn’t get its much-needed oxygen from blood vessels. It gets it from the air instead. When you wear soft contact lenses, a limited amount of oxygen gets to your eye, which is fine until you close those eyes for prolonged periods of time. During sleep, between those two layers (your eyelid and the lens), no oxygen gets through at all. Your doctor can tell if your cornea has been starved of oxygen by looking at it under magnification – swelling and little bumps called “endothelial microcysts” are just some of the symptoms they might find.
If these problems go on for too long, your eye will be at increased risk of eye infection and corneal ulcers (open sores on the cornea).
Side Effects Associated With Usage Of Contact Lenses
- Blockage of Oxygen Supply to the Eyes
Since contact lenses lie directly on the eye and cover the entire cornea, the amount of oxygen reaching your eyes will decrease. Good oxygen supply is absolutely critical to keep the eyes healthy.
You also may want to choose modern silicone hydrogel contact lenses as these soft lenses are made of a material that transmits more oxygen than conventional soft contact lens materials and may be safer for your eyes in the long run. Avoid wearing contact lenses for long hours at a stretch.
- Corneal Abrasion
Wearing your contact lenses overnight or taking a nap with them can cause corneal abrasions or scratches on your cornea. As you can imagine, the condition is painful. This happens because the contact lenses deny the corneas hydration and oxygen.
Never sleep with contact lenses in as the risk of abrasion will increase. The lenses will trap particles like dirt and sand and rub against your cornea. These abrasions will create an opening for bacteria and virus to seep through and give birth to eye infections, which can result in loss of vision too.
- Blurred vision.
Another offshoot of contact lens overuse is blurred vision. Instead of helping you see better, your contacts can impair your vision if you use it longer than you should. This is caused by damage to your corneas and is often accompanied by sensitivity to bright lights.
- Red Eye or Conjunctivitis
This is one of the clearest indication of damage to the eyes. Factors like crying, irritation, light infections (such as conjunctivitis), and lack of sleep naturally lead to reddish eyes, but the condition is temporary and heals between minutes and days. Red-eyes caused by contact lens overuse indicate a much more severe condition and should not be taken lightly.
Contact lens provide a moist environment which acts as a potential breeding ground for microorganisms like viruses and bacteria. Additionally, since less oxygen reaches the cornea when you wear lenses, the body doesn’t fight off an infection that is caused by bacteria or viruses as effectively as it should.
Giant papillary conjunctivitis (GPC) is the most common type of conjunctivitis that contact lens wearers get due to repeated irritation from the contact lenses.
- Dry Eyes And Eye Pain
Contact lens reduces the quantity of tears getting on the cornea as they absorb most of our tears to keep itself soft. This lack of tears causes dry eye syndrome leading to itchiness, burning sensation and redness of the eyes. If the eyes get too dry, it will lead to the scarring of the cornea which can be extremely painful.
If you suffer from chronic eye dryness, use eyedrops to lubricate the eyes to provide some relief to them.
- Diminished Corneal Reflex
Using contact lenses may cause diminished corneal reflex in the eye. Corneal reflex is a protective mechanism of the eye where the brain signals the eyelids to drop down to protect our eyes whenever the slightest amount of pressure is applied to the cornea. Corneal reflex makes sure that we close our eyes if something may cause a direct trauma to them, like a flying object coming towards our eyes or if someone tries to poke us.
When you use contact lenses constantly, you teach your body to ignore the natural corneal reflex. This may dull the eye’s response to corneal reflex, which could lead to the eye being damaged if you can’t shut your eyes fast enough in case of danger.
Keep the usage of the lenses to a minimum. Use glasses when you are at home to ensure that corneal reflex isn’t diminished too much by constant use
- Irritation when Combined with Medication, especially Birth Control Pill
Concurrent use of contraceptive pills and contact lens together will result in chronic dry eyes and irritation. You will experience changes in the tear film, which primarily consists of three main layers which come together to protect, bathe and nourish the eye surface.
The combination of birth control pills and contact lenses will upset this balance in the tear film and cause excessive tearing, burning eyes and a gritty foreign body sensation in the eye. The restricted flow of oxygen to the eye will aggravate the condition.
Avoid using lenses as long as you are on the pill.
These open sores appear as white or grayish specks on the cornea. They occur when your eyes get infected because you used your contacts for too long or without cleaning them. They are painful and can cause blurred vision and blindness.
This occurs when an open sore caused by fungus, bacteria, parasite infection or viruses is formed in the eye’s cornea. They occur when your eyes get infected because you used your contacts for too long or without cleaning them. A corneal ulcer can cause permanent blindness if it is not treated quickly. If it does lead to blindness can cause blurred vision
How to take care of your contact lens
It’s important that you properly use and care for your contacts. Although there are many different types of contacts, generally you should:
- Use contacts according to the period prescribed
- Handle contacts with good hygiene
- Disinfect contacts as recommended
- See an optometrist for regular eye exams
It’s important that you pay particular attention to the last point mentioned. Without a regular eye exam, eye diseases and conditions can go undiagnosed. A proactive approach is the best approach when it comes to your eyes.