Wearing glasses can be a real pain, and they don’t work for everyone. A lot of people choose contacts over glasses, but contacts are not a perfected method of visual correction either.
They’ve been around for years and come in many varieties, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t harmful! In fact, there are still side effects and complications that come with wearing them. Here are a few of those!
1. Dry Eyes
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.
2. 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.
3. Corneal Abrasion
There is a possibility of the contact lenses scratching your cornea, causing corneal abrasion if they are not fitted properly or when your eyes are too dry.
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. You may even scratch your cornea when you insert or extract contact lenses carelessly.
4. Red Eye or Conjunctivitis
There will be a high risk of conjunctivitis and stye if you wear contact lenses for long hours at a stretch, especially through the night. They 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.
5. Corneal Ulcers
Eye infections caused by contact lenses can lead to corneal ulcers, which are painful, open sores on the outer layer of the cornea.Keeping your contact lenses in for too long is the most common cause of corneal ulcers, and research suggests that those who wear extended wear contact lenses (which can be worn for several consecutive days) are 10 times more likely to end up with corneal ulcers . While anyone who wears contact lenses is at risk, daily disposable contact lenses are said to be the least problematic when it comes to ulcers.
This post originally appeared on Insight Vision Center.