What Are The Complications Of Using Contact Lenses? Explore The Causes And Solutions


Contact lenses are extremely thin and transparent, and are made with polymer or silicone hydrogel. It is a great tool to aid with vision. People with vision problems who do not want to wear glasses can use this lens.

Contact lens floats on the tear film that covers your cornea. Myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism, and presbyopia are all examples of refractive abnormalities that can be corrected using contact lenses.

There are various types of lenses, the two main types are hard and soft lenses. But before buying lenses make sure to visit your eye doctor and discuss what kind of lens might be suited for you.

Eye Complications Caused By Using Contact Lens

  • Microbial Keratitis

The most common type of infection from a contact lens is Keratitis. Keratitis is a condition where the cornea becomes infected.

Complications Of Using Contact Lenses

In some extreme cases, it can scar cornea, a severe scar might need a corneal transplant to have a clear vision.  

  • Allergies

There might be chances of allergies. 

  • Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis

It is a condition where bumps will be formed underneath your eyelid which will be accompanied by red, painful, and itchy eyes. Protein deposits or allergies are the primary causes of this condition.

  • Corneal Abrasion

If you are not careful with using the lens, there are chances for corneal abrasion or scratch or scrape on the cornea. 

  • Contact Lens-Induced Acute Red Eye(CLARE)

This condition is when inflammation is caused in the outer surface of the eye. This might be most likely caused due to the deposits or Bacterial By-Products on Contact Lenses.

  • Neovascularization

This is a process where new blood vessels grow. But it is not good when new blood vessels grow into your cornea or retina. Along with redness in the eye, these vessels might leak and cause vision loss.

  • Corneal Infiltrates

An infiltrate is caused in the cornea due to an infection or decreased oxygen supply in the cornea. Contact lens wearers might suffer from corneal hypoxia or lack of oxygen to the cornea or it could also be an immune response to preservatives in the lens care products.

  • Dry Eyes

Prolonged hours of wearing contact lenses can make your eyes dry out due to the limited supply of oxygen.

Common Causes For Such Complications

There are various reasons for such complications to occur. Sleeping on your contact is a major reason. Using lenses that are beyond the expiration time is also a bad habit. It will be prescribed by the medical practitioners on how long you can wear contact lenses.

Some lenses should be discarded within one day of usage, a week, a month, etc. You should maintain caution and only wear lenses within the stipulated time. A microbe that builds up under your lens is also a reason for infection.

Not hygienically maintaining lenses or cases or even reusing or topping off contact lens solutions will be an invite for these infections.

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How To Prevent Such Complications

  • Hygiene

The first and most crucial step to prevent any infection will be to clean the lens and the case well. Before cleaning the lens, one must wash their hands thoroughly with soap.

Solutions For Eye Complications Of Using Contact Lenses

Rub your lens when you are cleaning them as this will remove the bacterial and protein buildup.

Rinse your contact lens in the solution prescribed for them. Do not use any ordinary soap or homemade solutions for cleaning up your lenses.

Do not forget to clean the case too and ensure that you replace them with a new one at least 2 times a year.

  • Rest

Give your eyes a break from these lenses. And never sleep with the lens on because this will increase the chances of getting an infection or even corneal hypoxia.

  • Do Not Overuse

Do not wear the lens more than the prescribed time of usage. Keep the lens as long as your eye doctor recommends them.

  • Visit An Ophthalmologist Regularly

Make sure to visit an eye doctor and conduct a check-up regularly.

Contact lenses are great for people who have vision problems and are not comfortable with wearing glasses. But there are some things that one must keep in mind while using them.

Never forget about the hygiene part. Cornea is a pretty delicate organ so one must be careful to handle the lens with care and well cleaned.

Never overuse or wear more than the extended period. And regularly make appointments. If at all you feel uncomfortable or experience redness or itching or painful symptoms, with lens then immediately remove them and go to your doctor.

One need not worry much about the complications, but it is better to be aware of them and practice precautions. 

Dr. Germana Barata is a research associate of the ScholCommLab and a dedicated science communication researcher at the Laboratory of Advanced Studies in Journalism (Labjor) and the Centre for the Development of Creativity (Nudecri) at the University of Campinas (Unicamp) in Brazil. With a Master’s and PhD in History of Science from São Paulo University, Dr. Barata is a respected scholar who has been awarded a productivity research fellowship in science communication at the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) in Brazil.

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