Joan Gewirtz, MD - Ophthalmologist

Contact Lens Risks

If you do not follow rigorously the instructions as recommended by your eye doctor and/or the manufactures, wearing contact lenses can put you at risk of several serious conditions including eye infections and corneal ulcers. These conditions can develop very quickly and can be very serious. In rare cases, these conditions can cause blindness.

Get professional help from an eye doctor such as Dr. Joan Gewirtz to determine your problem if you are experiencing one of the following symptoms:
If you experience any symptoms of eye irritation or infection,
  • Remove your lenses immediately and do not put them back in your eyes.
  • Contact your eye care professional right way.
  • Don't throw away your lenses. Store them in your case and take them to your eye care professional. He or she may want to use them to determine the cause of your symptoms.
  • Report serious eye problems associated with your lenses to the FDA's MedWatch1 reporting program.
  • Symptoms of Eye Irritation or Infection
  • Discomfort
  • Excess tearing or other discharge
  • Unusual sensitivity to light
  • Itching, burning, or gritty feelings
  • Unusual redness
  • Blurred vision
  • Swelling
  • Pain
Serious Hazards of Contact Lenses
Symptoms of eye irritation can indicate a more serious condition. Some of the possible serious hazards of wearing contact lenses are corneal ulcers, eye infections, and even blindness.

Corneal ulcers are open sores in the outer layer of the cornea. They are usually caused by infections. To reduce your chances of infection, you should:
  • Rub and rinse your contact lenses as directed by your eye care professional.
  • Clean and disinfect your lenses properly according to the labeling instructions.
  • Do not "top-off" the solutions in your case. Always discard all of the left over contact lens solution after each use. Never reuse any lens solution.
  • Do not expose your contact lenses to any water: tap, bottled, distilled, lake or ocean water. Never use non-sterile water (distilled water, tap water or any homemade saline solution). Tap and distilled water have been associated with Acanthamoeba keratitis, a corneal infection that is resistant to treatment and cure.
  • Remove your contact lenses before swimming. There is a risk of eye infection from bacteria in swimming pool water, hot tubs, lakes and the ocean.
  • Replace your contact lens storage case every 3-6 months.
Other Risks of Contact Lenses
Other risks of contact lenses include
  • Pink eye (conjunctivitis)
  • Corneal abrasions
  • Eye irritation
Telephone: (203) 348-0868 © Joan Gewirtz, MD. All Rights Reserved
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