Ever since the contact lens breakthroughs of the 1970s, these simple but ingenious devices have helped improve the lives of hundreds of millions of people. Price decreases and an ever-growing beauty-conscious society have seen them become a familiar sight in bathroom cabinets all over the World!
There is no doubt that contact lenses have been largely beneficial, and an important advancement in eyesight technology.
But could there be a downside to their use? Unfortunately, there is, and it can be devastating…
The problem is contact lens infections
Daily wear and tear, poor cleaning regimes, and the materials used in manufacture mean that contact lens bacteria are a major concern. These bacteria can cause anything from an itchy eye to permanent blindness.
Here are some of the main problems we see in practice:
- Corneal Ulcer: An open sore on the cornea of the eye. Left untreated it can cause sight loss.
- Bacterial Keratitis: A quick developing infection of the cornea. Again, permanent blindness can occur.
- Fungal Keratitis: Inflammation of the eye caused by rapidly multiplying fungal pathogens.
- Amoebic Keratitis: A rare parasitic infection which is difficult to diagnose and treat.
While these issues will not affect all contact lens wearers, they are much more commonplace than people think. Indeed, research from New Zealand has shown that more than 80% of contact lens cases were found to be contaminated with the microbes needed to cause these problems.
If this statistic was an isolated example of bacterial invasion, it could be easy to dismiss. However, over 30 years of research has led to the same findings.
The growing body of evidence
A scientific review of studies concluded that contact lens bacteria can move from the lens into the eye, killing corneal cells, causing scarring and vision loss.
Other worrying reports suggest that tap water can also ‘contaminate’ contact lenses with bacteria, which then multiplies on the eyeball itself.
Even the respected American Academy of Ophthalmology warns about the risks of contact lens infections!
So what are your options? How can you best avoid harmful lens bacteria?
Have an excellent hygiene routine
This is the simplest way to lower your chances of developing a contact lens-related eye infection.
Busy lifestyles can have a big impact on cleanliness routines – contact lens case management is not at the top of most peoples ‘to-do’ lists!
Although it may feel like a hassle, lens hygiene is very important if you want to stay safer.
Some simple tips:
- Wash and dry hands before touching your contact lenses.
- Clean the lenses with cleaning solution, then immerse them in disinfectant overnight.
- Clean your case regularly and replace it every few months.
- Always take contact lenses out before having a shower or washing your face.
While this will not totally remove the risk, it is a great starting point.
A permanent solution
If you want to completely remove the chance of a contact lens infection, you should consider Laser Eye Surgery (click here to find out more). This permanently improves your eyesight and means you won’t have to struggle with a contact lens maintenance regime again.
Here are the main benefits of laser eye treatment:
- No daily hygiene routines are needed.
- You can exercise without glasses or contact lenses.
- No risk of contact lens bacterial infections.
- A quick and painless procedure.
- It can be a cheaper solution over the long-term.
- Permanent correction of short-sightedness.
The one perceived issue with laser eye treatments can be the cost – some people think it might be too expensive for them. In reality, it is a good value procedure with flexible finance plans available. It is also covered by some private health insurance companies (definitely worth checking if this applies to you!).
When you think about the financial implications decades of contact lens subscriptions bring, and the potential treatment of contact lens eye infections, the laser actually works out cheaper overall.
Interested in Laser Eye Surgery?
If you would like to find out more about laser eye treatment and our flexible payment plans, then why not call AVC TODAY on 0800 652 4878 and request your free information pack or book your consultation to find out how we can help you.
And here is all the information available in our Truth About Contact Lens Infections infographic below: