They are more flattering than glasses on the aesthetic side but far from harmless for the eyes’ health. Wearing contact lenses requires some hygienic precautions. What are the most common risks and infections in the event of negligence?
When you wear contact lenses, you are putting a foreign object directly on your cornea. This, a real window of the eye is made of transparent cells: containing no vessels, they draw a large part of the oxygen necessary for their metabolism from the ambient air.
- For daily wear or frequent renewal, soft lenses have considerably increased their level of oxygen permeability thanks to new material, silicone hydrogel. They are used today in the first intention and better tolerated for dry eyes.
- The rigid ones are almost entirely made of silicone for the same reasons.
Deposits due to tears, makeup on contact lenses
However, even the most efficient lenses do not prevent the appearance of deposits, which slow down the circulation of oxygen and reduce their wearing comfort.
These deposits mainly come from your tears which contain water, lipids and proteins, and from the outside with dust and makeup. Ultimately, the lack of oxygenation of the cornea cells leads to their degradation or even their destruction.
This loss can be irreversible for some cells which do not renew themselves. However, their role is to protect your cornea from the germs naturally found in the eye. Most of its germs are harmless and attach themselves to lenses without consequences. Others, on the other hand, can enter through damaged cells and cause infections.
Contact lenses: how to limit the risk of infections?
Handle lenses with clean, dry hands
If you wear disposable lenses, the risk is less because you put a new, sterile lens on your eyes every day. However, if your hands are not clean and dry when handling, the risk of infection is the same as with frequently renewed lenses.
Wash and change the lens case regularly
The lens case should be washed regularly with the cleaning solution and changed as often as possible. The use of tap water is prohibited due to parasites such as amoebae that can adhere to lenses, turn into resistant cysts, and cause severe keratitis.
Therefore, the cleaning solution makes it possible to decontaminate the lenses to prevent the formation of protein or fatty deposits that reduce vision and comfort with the lenses.