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If you are using contact lens quite often, then you might be aware of the dos and don'ts of a using contact lens. And it goes without saying that contact lens if used properly is a healthy alternative to glasses. While they enhance visual clarity and accuracy, they come with some certain risks. Overuse of contact lens is common nowadays because of easy availability of good quality lenses. Dr Harshavardhan Ghorpade, Cornea, Cataract and Refractive Surgeon, Hiranandani Hospital Vashi - A Fortis Network Hospital sheds light on the common problems associated with contact lens overuse.
Corneal ulcer: It is an infection of the outer transparent layer of the eye, leading to loss of vision. Use of contact lens during swimming usually causes microbes such as Pseudomonas bacteria or Acanthamoeba parasite to enter the eye. As the microbes get stuck to the contact lens in the eyes, it increases the risk of infection to the corneal causing corneal ulcer. It leads to ocular pain, redness, watering and blurred vision. If faced with such a situation, one should visit a cornea specialist immediately. If it is caused due to a bacteria, antibiotic drops need to be administered to lower the infection. If it is a fungal or Acanthamoeba growth, then long term treatment may be needed for up to 3 months. In extreme cases, if the cornea is damaged or infected, you may need corneal transplantation as well. Here's everything you need to know about corneal transplant.
Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis (GPC): If you do not change contact lens at regular interval as prescribed by your doctor, then it can lead to GPC. This is because, excessive use of contact lens leads to deposits in the lenses that irritate the eye leading to the formation of granular layer called Papillae under the eyelids, which are large in size. These granules rub against the cornea causing itching, foreign body sensation, photophobia (severe sensitivity to light exposure) and chronic red eye (just like conjunctivitis). As far as treatment is concerned, you have to stop lens usage for a month or more and use lubricating drops. Also, use fresh high DK (oxygen permeability) lenses and change every month to improve the condition.
Contact Lens Associated Red Eye (CLARE): It is a sudden onset of redness in the eye that is caused by wearing lenses during bedtime. It happens due to an acute shortage of oxygen supply to the cornea because of the tight fitting contact lenses. It is a relatively mild complication but needs to be differentiated from redness due to an infection. The treatment includes prohibiting use of contact lens for a week or more, compulsory use of lubricants & antibiotic drops and change of lenses for a better fit. Here are 7 things to keep in mind while choosing contact lens.
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