Millions of people wear contact lenses every day, but too many of them aren’t aware that contact lenses pose a risk of developing an eye infection if not used properly. Eye infections can be quite painful and potentially damaging to your eyes, so they’re not to be taken lightly with a wait-and-see approach. Some untreated eye infections can even cause permanent vision loss or blindness.
Contact lens related infections can cause symptoms such as:
- Increased redness of the eye
- Pain in the eye
- Gritty sensation as if there’s something in your eye
- Blurred vision
- Teary eye or discharge from the eye
- Increased sensitivity to light
Even though contact lenses are designed for safety, wearing them still involves putting a foreign object in your eye. Doing so without proper precautions and maintenance greatly increases your risk of developing eye infections from wearing contacts.
Some of the most common causes of a contact lens related eye infection are:
- Failing to keep lenses clean
- Failing to keep lens cases clean
- Reusing or topping off lens solution
- Using extended-wear lenses
- Sleeping in contact lenses
- Microbes under the lens
- Bacteria, fungi, parasites, viruses
Keratitis is perhaps the most common infection that occurs from wearing contact lenses, and it develops when the cornea becomes infected. In some cases, keratitis can scar the cornea, damaging your vision. If the case of severe scarring, a corneal transplant may be needed to restore clear vision.
To avoid developing eye infections from wearing contact lenses, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions for cleaning and wearing the lenses. It’s also important to be sure that you’re applying and removing your contacts the correct way.
If you’ve been wearing contact lenses and experience any symptoms of a possible eye infection, don’t delay seeking treatment from an ophthalmologist who can quickly diagnose and treat the infection before more serious damage occurs.
Baptist Eye Surgeons is an ophthalmological practice in Knoxville, TN, and Morristown, TN, dedicated to providing quality eye care to patients whose needs range from routine comprehensive eye examinations to complex eye surgeries. To meet our doctors and learn more about our specialities, visit our website or give us a call at 865-579-3920 for more information or to schedule an appointment.