Contact lenses can miraculously improve your vision, but wearing them the wrong way can actually harm your eyesight.
This summer, one New York Times article reported about a lady who had 27 contact lenses removed from her right eye. Ouch! Her doctors noticed the problem while prepping her for cataract surgery. Thankfully, it’s fairly rare for lenses to be stuck for so long.
If you’re a contact lens wearer and you’re concerned about using your lenses safely, read on to learn more.
Looking at the Warning Signs
A lot can go wrong if you misuse your lenses. Optometrist Dr. Joe Schneiderhan explains, “It’s so important not to become careless with your eye doctor’s recommendations because bad contact lens use can actually harm your eyes or even threaten your vision.”
Becoming more aware can help. Here’s a list of warning signs:
- Eyes Feel Gritty—It may be nothing, but it could also be a sign of keratitis, or inflammation of the cornea. Bacteria and other infectious agents can cause it. In some cases, keratitis leads to blindness. It’s vitally important that you have your eyes checked if you’re concerned. Other symptoms to watch for are redness, light sensitivity, pain, and increased mattering (particularly in the morning).
- Lens is Stuck—If you think a lens is stuck, try to gently moisten your eye with rewetting drops. You can also lightly massage the top and bottom of your eyelids with your finger or look in the mirror for small broken fragments that may be irritating your eye. If these tips don’t help, you can schedule an appointment with your eye doctor.
- Dry Eyes or Allergies—Multiple causes could be creating this problem. People who consume alcohol, smoke or use caffeine may become dehydrated and feel dryer eyes when they use contacts. In that case, drinking more water may help provide some relief. Don’t use just any type of eye drops, though. You’ll need to choose eye drops that are specifically made for contact lens users (these products are often called rewetting drops). A daily lens may be more comfortable for dry eye sufferers, too.
- Pain or Other Discomfort—This can be an infection, dryness or something else. If you’re concerned, see your eye doctor just in case it’s something serious.
- Blurred Vision—One of several things may be causing this so if it continues, make a visit to your eye doctor.
Armed with the knowledge of the warning signs of contact lens misuse, learn about proper cleaning and wear of your contacts to protect your eyes.