Globally, millions and millions of people struggle with their eyesight. From short-sightedness to long-sightedness, to genetic conditions forces hundreds of millions of people to wear spectacles. A smaller percentage of these people, however, opt for contact lenses. Contact lenses are thin discs that are placed directly on the surface of your eye and contain lenses that help correct vision. Some are made of plastic while others are made of glass.
While they function pretty much the same as spectacles, contact lenses have a few extra benefits. For one, they provide a feeling of normalcy. With contacts one needs not to worry about fog forming on the glasses especially in this era of facemasks -this alone is able to persuade most long-time glass wearers. Moreover, they provide a greater and clearer field of vision and with the great variety of colours can have aesthetic benefits.
However, contact lenses can easily worsen your eye problems if not handled well. One is at a much greater risk of infection and other complications. One important question you should deeply think about before switching to contact lenses is probably “Do I already have proper hygiene habits? “This is because contact lenses require you to clean them regularly and have extremely clean hands before handling them. Failure to do this puts one at risk of side effects. So what are the side effects and how do they come about?
One of the most prevalent side effects is probably infection. While the risk of infection is naturally increased in contact wearers, unhygienic handling of the lenses goes on to increase the risk further. Some other causes of infection include mechanical abrasion and oxygen deprivation which compromise the surface of the cornea. Signs to look out for indicating infection include; burning, redness, irritation, feeling there is a foreign object in your eye and pain. If not attended to promptly one develops ulcers and can even reduce their already compromised visual performance. Other side effects include but are not limited to corneal oedema, red eye, infiltrates and epithelial microcytes.
As we mark world contact lens health week, it is important to remind ourselves that almost all risks associated with lenses can be averted when the proper steps are followed. Washing your hands thoroughly before handling lenses, cleaning your lenses as regularly as is advised by your doctor and having regular eye check-ups is non-negotiable. Happy contact lens health week!