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Air pollution can harm your contact lenses and cause serious eye injuries, say doctors

In the near future, contact lenses may do more than correct poor vision. © Shutterstock

Diwali is about to set in and with the dip in air quality due to increasing pollution, doctors say, you should be more careful about wearing contact lenses as pollution can lead to major lens related complications.

Written by Sreemoyee Chatterjee |Published : October 30, 2018 5:37 PM IST

Air pollution in the city is not only clogging your heart and lungs but is also creating discomfort for those who wear contact lenses, believe ophthalmologists. According to experts, high pollution levels in the city during the festival season makes wearing contact lenses in the city difficult as lenses are a foreign body and pollution during the festive season can lead to major complication of eyes.

Experts say, on average a single soft contact lens should last for about 18 months while a semi-soft lens can be safely worn for up to 30 months. However, because of increased air pollution during festivals like Diwali, such lenses can be safe to be worn only for 8 months. Certainly, this is a cause of concern as wearing lenses in a polluted environment can lead to irreparable damage to your eyes.

Dr Sameer Kaushal, senior consultant ophthalmologist at Tattvan eclinics, said: As the city is recording a dip in the quality of air, it is advised for the contact lens users to remove the lenses immediately and rinse and wash it thoroughly after use. There could be wear and tear of the lenses due to constant rubbing which can lead to infection or serious injury. It is also advised to add some artificial tears to eyes as pollution can make the lenses dry but using eye drops can keep them hydrated. If you frequently experience dryness while wearing your contact lenses during this season, try putting a few drops of moisturizing artificial tears 15 minutes before you put in your contacts. If the problem still persists, it is advised to immediately consult an eye expert.

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Mr Shashwat Kedia, founder at, one of the online lens shops, said: Many of those who wear contact lenses suffer from irritability caused by foreign particles as well as pollution. However, an easy remedy to such problems is wearing lenses that have been made by a reliable manufacturer and that are of good quality. Contact lenses that are made by a reputable company are less likely to cause irritability in a polluted environment and will never harm a person s eyes if they are worn correctly. There is an upsurge in the demand of lenses over the days.

Wearing the right lenses can be a solution to prevent damage to one's eyes and to the irritability caused by air pollution. While cheaper lenses are marketed well, their efficacy in providing good vision in a polluted environment does not match to that of lenses of higher quality , he added.

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