The Problem With Contact Lenses
If you’re one of the millions of contact wearers who enjoys the freedom of disposables, you might be contributing to the further decline of your eye health and not even realize it.
A more cavalier attitude about eyecare brings with it serious consequence for the health of your eyes: you touch them with unwashed fingers, you don’t clean them as often as you should, you wear them beyond the 30-day mark, or worse, you sleep in them.
The CDC recently reported that nearly all contact lens users are guilty of violating at least one rule of proper contact lens care.
If you’re guilty of even one of these things, you know how your eyes feel when you haven’t been diligent. Sometimes, they become so irritated, it can hurt to blink. And, turns out, blinking is pretty important whether you wear contacts or not.
Your Eyes and Blinking
When you blink – really blink – the lid margins press together to activate tiny glands that release a lubricating substance. The act of blinking creates a biofilm of moisture that helps protect the surface of the eye (it is delicate) as well as improve your focus by helping light pass through the surface of your eye. As the biofilm evaporates, you blink to properly maintain that biofilm.
That said, most of us no longer blink like we used to.
Staring at devices, televisions, and other screens for long periods of time reduces our blink rate…significantly. When we don’t blink as often, those tiny glands aren’t put to work and they get plugged up. Without the lubrication provided by the glands, the biofilm on the eye evaporates faster. So, the eye is no longer properly hydrated and, eventually, you start to feel it.
For many contact lens wearers, dry eye symptoms are simply an annoying, irritating compromise for the benefit of wearing contacts. The burning, stinging and redness can become routine. But, what if there is more to it – more damage – than just your eyes feeling dry?
Signs of Contact Lens Problems
Without proper lubrication, your cornea – the surface of your eye – is more exposed, more vulnerable to the damage from elements like pollution, pollen, sun, dust, bacteria. While dry eye symptoms may seem relatively harmless, they can be a good indicator of ocular surface disease, a condition where the surface of the eye has been compromised and does not properly function.
Using contacts with ocular surface conditions can lead to…well, more problems. Because you are more prone to infection, your lens care routine needs to become more intense. But, as mentioned, contact lens wearers are notorious for improper use.
Contact Lenses: One Stop In Your Vision Correction Journey
Lifestyle and vision needs change with time and age. Typically, when diagnosed with a vision problem, everyone starts out with glasses. As you get older, glasses may no longer fit your lifestyle and you adopt contact lenses.
Similarly to the change from glasses to contacts, you may reach a stage in your life when contacts no longer fit your lifestyle either. Your eyes may frequently become irritated or dry, you may abuse disposables, or you may simply tire of taking them in and out.
The next, most logical step when you “outgrow” your contacts, then, is LASIK.
Keeping an annual eye appointment can ensure your contact usage is safe and healthy for your eyes. And if you are considering LASIK—the next step up from contacts—it is one of the best ways to ensure you qualify for the LASIK procedure.
Your Eyes Deserve A Break
The fact is, wearing contacts – even under the best of circumstances – is tough on the surface of your eye.
With the ability to treat a range of vision problems, including nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism, LASIK offers a permanent way to have excellent vision while eliminating the risks posed by the extended use of contact lenses.
If you are struggling with contacts or contact lens problems, it is time to visit your doctor and address any ocular surface conditions. Recent studies have shown patients who chose LASIK have a reduced incidence of dry eye symptoms.
With today’s advanced technologies and treatment profiles delivering excellent vision in safety, there has never been a better time to have LASIK.
If you are ready to move on from contacts and glasses, now is the time to book your free consultation.
(source: American Refractive Surgery Council)