Dangers of Contact Lenses
By Andrew E Holzman, MD FACS on May 14, 2012
Contact lenses are a treatment used in the correction of the vision flaws myopia, hyperopia, presbyopia, and astigmatism. For patients in Washington DC, contact lenses provide a convenient and easy way to correct these vision flaws. While many patients who wear contact lenses will not develop complications from wearing contact lenses, unfortunately, some will. Many people wear contact lenses without ever considering the risks involved. Some of the dangerous complications that may develop from wearing contact lenses are eye infections and corneal ulcers. One of the biggest dangers of contact lenses is that a complication can occur at any time; a problem can arise after days or years of wearing contact lenses.
Dangers of Contact Lenses: Symptoms
When dangerous eye conditions are not treated, vision loss and even blindness can result. Because complications from wearing contact lenses can progress at a fast pace, it is especially important to seek immediate treatment for any of these symptoms:
- Eye pain
- Blurry vision
- Itching or burning in the eyes
- Sensitivity to light
- Excessive tearing of the eyes
Dangers of Contact Lenses
Some of the dangers of contact lenses are irritation of the eye, conjunctivitis (pink eye), corneal abrasions, keratitis, and corneal ulcers. Eye irritation can be quite frustrating to endure. Itchiness, a feeling of something in the eye, and a burning sensation are common for those who experience irritation of the eye. Eye irritation can be a sign of a more serious condition, such as an infection of the eye. Eye infections such as keratitis and conjunctivitis can occur from exposure to bacteria and foreign materials introduced to the eyes through wearing contact lenses.
A corneal abrasion is a scratch on the cornea. A scratch on the cornea often occurs when a finger slips when inserting or removing contact lenses. The fingernail scratches the surface of the eye, causing a corneal abrasion.
Another dangerous complication that can develop from wearing contact lenses is a corneal ulcer. Washington DC contact lens patients, especially those who use extended wear contact lenses, are at an increased risk of developing a corneal ulcer. Simply stated, a corneal ulcer is an open sore on the cornea. Dirt can get trapped behind the contact lenses, which may result in tiny scratches on the cornea. Bacteria on the contact lenses or in the contact lens cleaning solution can cause damage to the cornea. When contact lenses are worn for an extended period of time, the cornea may not receive enough oxygen, which can cause damage to the cornea.
Alternatives to Contact Lenses
The most obvious alternative to contact lenses is eyeglasses. This is the first option for patients who develop dangerous complications from wearing contact lenses. While eyeglasses enable a person to see clearly, they are not a welcomed alternative for many. Fortunately, there are alternatives available for patients who desire to correct their vision without using eyeglasses or contact lenses. For our patients in Virginia, LASIK and PRK are two alternatives available in the correction of vision flaws.
Schedule an Examination Today
Our skilled staff would be happy to answer any questions you may have. To learn more about the possible dangers of contact lenses, please contact Andrew E. Holzman, MD FACS today.