While contact lenses are safely worn by many, there is a risk of developing eye infections. Factors that contribute to an infection can include:
The best way to avoid eye infections due to wearing contact lenses is to follow proper lens care guidelines as recommended by your optometrist. Single usage one day throw away lenses are affordable, extremely safe, easy to manage and are available in most prescriptions. Best of all you don't have to carry around contact lens solutions which are costly and cumbersome.
A corneal ulcer is an erosion or exposed sore on the surface of the cornea. Corneal ulcers are most commonly caused by germs. Other causes of corneal ulcers include viruses, injury and inadequate eyelid closure. Sometimes when wearing a contact lens we are less sensitive to these conditions as they begin, like having a band aid on a cut, so it is important to remove your lenses as instructed.
The symptoms of corneal ulcers include:
Early diagnosis is important in treating corneal ulcers. Your optometrist will ask you questions to determine what caused the ulcer. Your eyes will then be examined, sometimes a special dye may be placed in your eye to aid in the diagnosis don't worry it doesn't hurt at all. Treatment usually involves eye drops and is very effective when treatment is started early.
CLARE is an inflammatory reaction of the cornea and conjunctiva (a thin and transparent membrane that covers the sclera, the white part of the eye). This infection is mostly caused by sleeping with contact lenses and is characterized by waking with red eyes.
In most cases, no treatment is required. It is recommended that patients discontinue lens wear, which usually remedies the condition. However, if redness or irritation persists after 24 hours, you should see your optometrist. If you experience pain, sensitivity to light or decrease in vision, you should see your optometrist immediately.
GPC is an inflammatory reaction of the upper eyelid and is very common among those that over wear their contact lenses. One day lenses are an excellent choice for those who have experienced such a reaction.
The symptoms of GPC include small, red bumps on the inflamed tissue on the underside of the upper eyelids. There is usually itchiness, discharge, increased lens awareness and decreased lens tolerance.
Your optometrist may prescribe eye drops to control the inflammation. Once under control, different type of lenses will usually be prescribed.