Healthy contact lens wear: How to avoid common complications

Contact lenses have seen many technological improvements to ensure a healthy and comfortable wearing experience.

Almost all spectacle wearers can benefit from the flexibility and freedom of wearing contact lenses- especially when playing sports or during social functions.

With the latest technologies, there's every reason to experience comfortable, safe and enjoyable contact lens wear for many years.

Of course, everyone should observe optimal contact lens care for healthy and clear vision, and some products are designed to make it easier for the wearer to do the 'right' thing when it comes to contact lenses.

In the instances where contact lens complications occur, these can largely be avoided through proper hygiene, and going for regular eye exams to ensure that your lenses fit you perfectly.

Doing a quick self-check once in a while is a simple way to determine if your contacts are performing optimally:

• Do my eyes feel good?

Eyes should have enough moisture and not feel dry

• Do my eyes look good? 

Healthy eyes should look white and bright

• Can I see clearly?

Vision should be crisp and clear all day

If you answered no to any of those questions, visit an optometrist to get the right lenses that suit your lifestyle and vision correction needs.

Here are some conditions that can occur with contact lenses, and tips on how to resolve them quickly:

How to resolve complications

1) Allergies and 'foreign body' sensation

Some people are more prone to allergic type responses, and can even develop an allergic response to the natural substances that are produced in their own tears.

As contact lenses are constantly in direct contact with the eye, it's important to be fitted with contact lenses that are adequately smooth and have high levels of moisture.

Your optometrist can recommend appropriate contact lenses to suit the physical structure of your eyes.

2) Red eyes

Whether you're a contact lens wearer or not, most people will experience red eye from time to time.

This can happen when we're feeling tired, run-down or it can sometimes happen when we have a cold or flu.

One condition that can result in red eye is conjunctivitis, which is the swelling (inflammation) of the membrane lining the eyelids and 'whites' of the eyes (also known as the 'sclera').

Conjunctivitis can occur when contact lens wearers do not replace their contact lenses frequently.

To reduce the chances of conjunctivitis, one has to ensure proper hygiene when handling lenses, and opt for a daily disposable lens to benefit from a clean pair each day.

To minimise these conditions, it is recommended to wear suitable contact lenses that have:

• Daily disposable modality to prevent build-up of naturally occurring tear substances
•  Highest levels of oxygen flow to allow the eyes to breathe easily
•  Smooth, hydrated surfaces so that the eyelids glide over the contact lenses with minimal friction

With innovations in contact lens material, it is now even easier to maintain the natural, healthy state of the eyes.

Besides optimal contact lens care, keep your eyes healthy by giving them enough rest, adopting a healthy diet, ensuring optimal hydration and of course protecting your eyes from harmful UV rays.

This article was contributed by Koh Lian buck, head optometrist and business owner of Pearl's VisionCare.

 

ACUVUE® Giveaway

1•Day ACUVUE® TruEye™ is a daily disposable contact lens that provides clear and healthy vision along with high UV protection.

We are giving away a month’s supply of 1•Day ACUVUE® TruEye™ to two lucky readers who correctly answer the following question.

It is important to have regular eye exams to ensure that your lenses meet your vision correction and lifestyle needs. True or false?

Submit your answer to a1photo@sph.com.sg, with the headline "Acuvue Giveaway" to stand a chance to win.

All entries should be submitted by May 30.

* Please note that disposable contact lenses are medical devices and the lenses will only be prescribed subjected to the eye examination results. Prizes are non- transferable and non-exchangeable for cash.

Purchase this article for republication.

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