If you suffer from poor vision, contact lenses may help. These curved pieces of plastic fit over your eye’s cornea to enhance your vision without requiring eyeglasses. Contact lenses have many benefits, but there also risks associated with their use.
Scratches: Contact lenses may scratch your cornea. This is more common if a lens doesn’t fit correctly or you wear your contacts when you go to sleep.
Ulcers: Contact lenses can increase your risk of developing ulcers on the corneas, according to Vanderbilt University Medical center’s “Reporter” newspaper. Such ulcers are more common when wearing non-prescription contact lenses. If left untreated, contact lens-related ulcers can cause a permanent loss of vision.
Eye irritation: Basic eye irritation — such as redness, itchiness and watery eyes — can occur while wearing contact lenses, reports the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. More serious symptoms include swelling, blurred vision and sensitivity to the light.
Corneal infections: Infections of the cornea, also known as microbial keratitis, may occur if you wear contact lenses, says an October 2008 study published in the journal “Ophthalmology.” The study followed 2,075 people over a two-year period. The risk of developing such infections varied depending on the type of contact lenses people wore, with the study noting that risk “significantly increased” among those wearing daily disposables.
Displacement: Contact lenses can move out of position in your eyes. The lenses may slip up or down and become hidden underneath your eyelid where removal is difficult, according to the University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center.
“Ophthalmology”; Risk factors for microbial keratitis; J.K. Dart, et al.; October 2008
University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center: Contact Lenses
U.S. Food and Drug Administration: Contact Lens Risks
“Reporter”; Risk of non-prescription contact lenses revealed; Jessica Pasley; April 2010