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Do Contact Lenses Damage The Eye?


Contact lenses are great invention which saves the pain of wearing spectacles while helping us see better, but special care has to be taken to look after them. A frequently asked question is whether contact lenses can damage the eyes.

If contact lenses are not used properly, it can certainly result in eye damage. In this section, we will deal with the aspect of damage to the eyes by contact lenses and some precautions to be taken to avoid this.

Major Factors Leading to Eye Damage Caused by Contact Lenses

  • Bad Hygiene: The most common cause of eye damage due to contact lenses is from bad hygiene. Contact lenses, hands and storage cases should be kept clean at all times. If your lens is dirty, redness and irritation may be caused by accumulation of bacteria and fungus.
  • Using disposable contact lenses longer than the recommended time: This can lead to damaged lenses and bacterial contamination which causes painful eye infections. Every set of contact lenses has a prescribed time limit after which it should be discarded.
  • Damaged contact lenses: Contact lenses should be handled with care. If they are dropped or handled by someone else (for example if children touch them), then damage can take place. This will result it incorrect fitting and will irritate the eyes. If you suspect that your lenses have been damaged, discard them immediately or have them checked by an optometrist.
  • Using unspecified cleaning solutions: Different cleaning solutions can also lead to eye irritation. Each model or brand of contact lens has a specific solution which has to be used with it. Using incorrect solutions can result in hardening of soft lenses leading to discomfort and eye damage.
  • Exposure to chemicals: Never allow your contact lenses to get in contact with volatile substances like alcohol, nail polish remover, petrol, and so on. If this happens, the contact lenses may get irreversibly damaged and will lead to irritation of the eye and blurred vision.
  • Exposure to raw water: By raw water we mean water that has not been purified. This includes rain water, swimming pool water or tap water. Untreated water contains a micro-organism called Acanthamoeba. It causes Acanthamebic Keratitis a tissue-degenerating eye disease which is extremely painful and causes blindness.
  • Sharing contact lenses: Sharing of contact lenses occurs as a result of an unprecedented emergency; a person lends their contacts to someone else for a short while. But this is a sure-shot way to transmit infections. Also, each user wears the contacts of a particular specification as defined by an eye care specialist. Therefore, if someone else wears them, it can result in damage to the eyes.


So now we can see that even though contact lenses are really helpful to you, if you do not use them in the proper way, you may damage your eyes. If the above precautions are taken while using contact lenses, your eyes will continue to be protected and stay healthy.
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