About Eye Diseases For Contact Lens Wearers!

Contact lenses have a lot to offer someone with poor vision. At such an affordable price, they seem an attractive alternative to other forms of vision correction. Their strengths include:

  • You can’t snap or break them
  • They don’t fog up
  • You can wear them when exercising
  • You can buy them as and when you need them
  • They don’t require a large upfront investment

So it’s clear contact lenses have their strong points. But like any other quick fix solution, they come with an equal number of weaknesses:

  • They are easily lost
  • They don’t perform well in extreme weather conditions
  • They can’t be worn for certain sports and activities like swimming
  • They require a certain level of care and maintenance
  • They can cause dry eyes and irritation
  • The cost soon builds up over time

Some of these points may sound trivial to those who are new to wearing contacts and experiencing their benefits—particularly ex-glasses users. But the problem is, the list doesn’t end there.

Being a contact lens wearer is in some ways like being an ice road trucker. When nothing bad happens, it’s a good day. But when something does go wrong, it can be disastrous.

And unfortunately, due to the set guidelines that exist for wearing and looking after your lenses, it’s easy for things to go wrong. Failure to store and clean them properly, wearing them for too long, or not replacing them when necessary, can all contribute to long-term degradation of your vision.

Keratitis: An infection of the cornea

Although many contact wearers go through their life without suffering major problems, they all carry the risk of eye infection. The most common of which that effects contact wearers is keratitis—an infection of the cornea.

Keratitis can spawn from a number of causes and therefore can effect the eye in various ways. Herpes, fungus, bacteria, and microbes are all known to lead to keratitis—some to more serious cases than others. For instance, acanthamoeba can lead to a very difficult to treat form of keratitis.

There are four main types of keratitis which anyone considering or wearing contacts should be aware of:

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Corneal ulcer:

An open sore in the outer layer or ‘epithelium’ of the cornea. Although not as common, it can result from untreated corneal infections.

Bacterial keratitis:

An eye infection which can be caused by bacteria found in water, soil, plants, and sewage.

Fungal keratitis:

One of the more serious and painful infections caused by fungal organisms.

Amoebic keratitis:

An uncommon but very harmful infection which could cause long-term vision damage, caused by an organism found in tap water, swimming pools, spas etc.

As a contact wearer, keratitis is your worst enemy. It’s the most common and most serious complication that could not only leave you with impaired vision, but the need for a corneal transplant.

If you are worried you may have an infection or simply want to be prepared in the event that you do, refer to this list of symptoms as recommended by the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO). If you find yourself suffering from any, contact your doctor as soon as you can.

  • Blurry vision
  • Unusual redness of the eye
  • Pain in the eye
  • Tearing or discharge from the eye
  • Increased light sensitivity
  • The sensation of something in your eye.

If you would like to book a consultation at London Vision Clinic, or find out more about alternatives to contact lenses, leave us a comment or give us a call us on 020 7224 1005.

Dr Tim Archer
Dr Tim Archer

Dr Timothy Archer graduated from Oxford and Cambridge Universities with an undergraduate degree in Mathematics and a postgraduate degree in Computer Science. He joined the clinic in 2003, where he established his career specialising in laser refractive surgery research alongside Professor Reinstein. Today, he manages the in-house research team, of which achievements include 124 peer-reviewed papers, 32 book chapters, over 100 scientific articles and a published textbook. He also oversees and edits the content on London Vision Clinic’s website.

About Eye Diseases For Contact Lens Wearers!

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