Dos and Don'ts with Contact Lenses
Contact lenses are easily accessible in the modern times. However, all contact lens wearers must be educated on the Dos and Don'ts when handling any forms of contact lenses. One of the most important practices is high level of hygiene.
These are the common practices to maintain highest level of hygiene in contact lens wear:
Washing of hands before insertion and removal of contact lenses
Do not swim, sleep and/or shower with contact lenses on
Do not clean the contact lenses with tap water, and/or should any tap water comes in contact with contact lenses
Clean the contact lens casing every day before air drying it
Dispose and replenish with new soaking solution after every use
Rub and rinse both sides of the contact lenses with recommended contact lens cleaner or multi-purpose solution
Dirty contact lens casing (pictured above).
Deposits on contact lens (pictured above).
Noncompliance with these practices increase the risk of contact lens complications, which will result in eye infections, potentially leading to reduced vision in the severe stage.
Below are some of the common eye complications due to poor hygiene in contact lens wear:
- Contact Lens Papillary Conjunctivitis (CLPC)
This is mainly caused by the formation of deposits forming along the surface of the contact lens. This results in friction to the upper inner eyelid and causes bumps along the surface (pictured below). This deposits may accumulate when the contact lens is not cleaned thoroughly. Prolonged irritation to the inner surface may increase mucin production, reducing the quality of vision. Other symptoms include itchiness, discomfort, lens awareness and occasional blurring of vision.
- Contact Lens Peripheral Ulcer (CLPU)
It appears as a circular, well defined, dense, yellowish-white, localize corneal spot in mid-peripheral to peripheral cornea (pictured below). This condition requires close monitoring. Symptoms may range from asymptomatic to pain, redness and sensitivity to light. Individual who suffers from this may experience reduced symptoms upon removal of the contact lens.
Small and round peripheral lesion in the cornea in CLPU
- Acanthamoeba Keratitis
It is an infection due to acanthamoeba, a type of bacteria found in the contact lens case, swimming pools and tap water. Individual diagnosed with acanthamoeba keratitis requires urgent referral to an Ophthalmologist as it carries a high risk of blindness. Symptoms include severe pain and redness, blurred with hazy vision, sensitivity to light and discharge. The symptoms are not relieved with the removal of contact lenses.
It is important to visit an Optometrist for contact lens aftercare review regularly to screen for any possible eye diseases, dirty contact lenses or cases. Each visit is important as it helps to reduce the chances of eye infection. Speak to our Optometrist and Optician to schedule for an appointment.
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