Preventing Contact lens infections
Contact lens Infections
Every year, almost 10,000 Americans lose their vision from complications of Contact lenses wear. The most common reason is a serious infection called a corneal ulcer. These infections generally occur in young patients who overwear their contact lenses. Unfortunately, these infections usually heal with a Corneal scar, which can affect vision. When wearing contacts lenses, it is very important to follow basic contact lens care rules to keep your eyes healthy.
3 Eye Health tips for wearing contact lenses
- First and foremost, always wash your hands before inserting and removing contact lenses. After removing your contacts, make sure you fill your lens case with fresh disinfecting solution each night. Do not “top off” the solution from the previous day. Fresh contact lens solution is needed to disinfect your lenses overnight. When thinking about which contact lens solution to purchase, always stick to a name brand option versus a store brand. They are not created the same. I tell my patients to choose whichever name brand solution is on sale and to avoid the store brand version.
- Wear and replace your contact lenses as prescribed by your Ophthalmologist or Optometrist. Proper compliance will reduce the risk of contact lens associated problems like corneal ulcers or bacterial conjunctivitis. Overwearing your contact lenses longer than prescribed can cause a decrease in oxygen to the cornea that will result in swelling of the cornea as well as the growth of new blood vessels to the cornea called neovascularization. This is a sign the cornea is oxygen-starved and this increases the risk of infection.
- Always examine the lens. Make sure that they are no tears or nicks in the lens. If so, disregard the lens and open a new fresh one. Tears and nicks can cause scratches in the outer layer of the cornea that can increase your risk of infection.
Following some basic rules for your contacts will keep your eyes healthy, and you will be a happy contact lens wearer.
What to do if you develop an eye infection?
If you are a contact lens wearer and experience the following symptoms, take your contact lenses out and seek Medical attention from your Ophthalmologist or Optometrist immediately. If your Eye doctor is not available, go immediately to an Emergency room.
- Worsening redness
- Extreme light sensitivity
- Worsening Eye pain
- Worsening vision
- A white spot on your cornea (the clear dome in front of your Iris)
The above tips should help you wear your contact lenses safely and happily for a long time to come.
Roshie Moshtaghfard, O.D. is a Therapeutic Optometrist affiliated with LaserCare Eye Center. LaserCare Eye Center is a Medical Practice with locations in Irving and Southlake, Texas. The practice was founded by Sidney Gicheru, M.D. and specializes in comprehensive Ophthalmology, LASIK and Refractive Cataract Surgery (ReSTOR, Crystalens and TORIC lens implants). For more information, call 214-328-0444 (Irving location) or 817.481.2727 (Southlake location). You can also visit www.DFWeyes.com.