Contact lens complications

Contact lens complications
Many people wear contact lenses without knowing the complications that may arise. These complications can be caused by many factors including dry eyes,  poorly fitted lens, overwear or abuse of the lenses. Affected parts include the eyelid, conjunctiva and cornea. Common symptoms are pain and irritation on the eyes. Below are some common contact lens complications many lens wearers might not know.

1. Giant capillary conjunctivitis is a common contact lens complication. It involves the inflammation of the conjunctiva.  The condition is caused by irritation of the tarsal conjunctiva of the upper lids. Pre-disposing factors include poor cleaning, thick or rough contact lens edge, heat sterilization and prolonged use of the contact lenses. Symptoms of giant capillary conjunctivitis may include contact lens irritation, itching, burning and mucous discharge.

2. Contact Lens Acute Red Eye (aka CLARE) is an inflammatory reaction of the cornea and conjunctiva. This condition is mainly caused by sleeping with contact lenses. The main symptom is waking with red eyes. Other symptoms are pain, poor vision and sensitivity to light. If you have CLARE, the best way to treat it is to discontinue wearing of contact lenses. Also remember to remove your lens when sleeping.

3. Keratitis is an eye infection that affects the cornea .It is caused by bacteria, fungi and other microorganisms. Main symptoms of keratitis are tearing, blurred vision, pain, light sensitivity and redness of the eye. Keratitis is typically chronic and can cause loss of vision.  If you experience the symptoms above, consult your doctor immediately. Treatment involves topical medications.

4. Corneal abrasion is simply a scratch on the eye’s cornea. The cornea is the clear dome like tissue on the front part of the eye.  It is vital for vision and eye’s protection. Corneal abrasion can be caused by poking of the eye accidentally, dirt, rubbing of eyes, eye infections, chemical burns and poor fitting lenses.

If you have experienced any of those or other contact lens related complications it is best to get examined by your eye doctor for a thorough assessment.

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