Despite the fact that contact lenses are worn by more than 75 million people worldwide and the majority of these people do not experience any problems, complications can arise.
Problems are normally caused by not looking after your lenses properly. If you do not follow the guidelines given by your optometrist, you risk contracting an infection.
If you do feel any discomfort when you wear your lenses, we recommend removing them and making an appointment to see your optometrist straight away.
Contact lens problems are fairly rare and easily treated. This article outlines some of the most common contact lens complications and what causes them.
Corneal Ulcers are contracted by not cleaning contact lenses well enough. You are most likely to get a corneal ulcer if you wear soft lenses or extended wear contact lenses.
Corneal Ulcers are extremely unpleasant and cause acute pain, redness and discharge.
If you think that you might have a corneal ulcer, you should stop wearing your contact lenses immediately and ask your optometrist for advice.
Corneal Oedemas are caused by not getting adequate oxygen to your cornea. In the majority of cases you will not experience any physical symptoms if you have a Corneal Oedema. If you do have physical symptoms you might experience eye pain when you remove their lenses and hazy vision.
Regular eye exams can help detect if there is not enough oxygen reaching your cornea before problems actually occur.
Corneal abrasions can be caused by particles getting trapped under your lenses and scratching your cornea. Corneal abrasions are much more likely to happen with RGP lenses than with soft contact lenses.
Although corneal abrasions are unpleasant you do not normally need medical treatment for them.
Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis
Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis is the most common contact lens complication. It is caused by an immune reaction to the protein in your contact lenses. It causes a number of small swellings to appear on the inside of the eyelids makes your eyes red and itchy.
Although Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis will not damage your eyesight, it will make wearing contact lenses uncomfortable.
Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis is treated by stopping or reducing the amount of time that you wear your contact lenses for. In most cases the temporary use of steroids is also prescribed.
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