The Unseen Danger of Contact Lenses

An estimated 41 million Americans wear contact lenses.   People often substitute wearing eyeglasses with contact lenses for comfort and convenience, as well as for beauty and fashion.  But along with the glamour that it brings, certain rules must be followed to safely use contact lenses to avoid further damage to your eyesight.

To prevent eye infections when using contact lenses, wearers should always wash hands with soap and water and dry them well before touching contact lenses.  Cases must be replaced with new solution as recommended and must not be mixed over old solution.  Lens cases must be replaced at least once every three months.   And most importantly, take contacts out before sleeping, showering or swimming.

About 99 percent of respondents admit to breaking at least one of the above rules thereby increasing their risks to eye infection.  According to a recent study by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, many people choose not to follow those rules, for various reasons ranging from forgetfulness, time constraint, or merely laziness, which could lead to serious vision and health consequences.

Chad Groeschen, a contact lens user, learned his lesson the hard way.  He knows all too well the consequences of not following the rules and shared his story on Buzz Feed to prevent others from experiencing the same.

Groeschen used to sleep into his extended-wear contact lenses for up to a week.   He had no problems with his routine until one morning he woke up with itchy eyes that he thought to be a mere sinus infection or allergy for which he consulted a doctor.   On the third day his symptoms progressed quickly and he experienced intense pain and had almost no vision in one eye.  A specialist informed him that his eye was infected with Pseudomonas bacteria.   While the bacteria does not always lead to blindness, doctors say serious damage to the eye due to poor contact lens hygiene and sleeping with his contact lens on caused the infection.   Doctors say he may need a corneal transplant to restore his vision.