July 15, 2014
Disposable contacts can be convenient, as long as they are properly used.
But contact lens wearers are also at higher risk for infection.
Lian Kao, a 23-year-old college student in Taiwan, lost her eyesight after wearing disposable contacts for six months, even while she was sleeping and swimming.
General guidelines indicate that contact lenses should not be worn for more than eight hours per day. People should not wear their contacts when they come in contact with water, such as in the shower or pool.
Single-cell amoeba, which are microscopic bacteria, gnawed away the corneas, devouring the surface of both of her eyes. The damage is believed to be permanent.
Kao was officially diagnosed with acanthamoeba keratitis. The acanthamoeba adhere to the contact lens surface and then burrow into the corneas.
The condition usually does not cause severe symptoms until the latter stages, when eye damage has already been suffered. In the earlier stages, prescription drugs and corneal transplants are sometimes effective in treating the condition.
Doctors hope this story serves as a reminder to contact lens wearers that proper hygiene is a necessity to protect eye health.
Effects of long-term contact lens wear on the cornea:
Long-term contact lens use can lead to alterations in corneal thickness, stromal thickness, curvature, corneal sensitivity, cell density, and epithelial oxygen uptake, etc. Other changes may include the formation of epithelial vacuoles and microcysts (containing cellular debris) as well as the emergence of polymegathism in the corneal endothelium.
Decreased corneal sensitivity, vision loss, and photophobia have also been observed in patients who have worn contact lens for an extended period of time. Many contact lens-induced changes in corneal structure are reversible if contact lenses are removed for an extended period of time.
Knowledge concerning the form and function of the cornea and the various types of contact lenses and their common complications is important to understanding this article.
The effects of extended contact lens wear on the cornea have been studied extensively and are well-documented. When determining the effects of long-term contact lens use on the cornea, many studies do not differentiate between users of hard and soft contact lenses, while studies that have made this differentiation have found similar results. This is probably because most contact lens-induced changes to the cornea are caused by hypoxia, which occurs as long as any physical barrier to the surface of the cornea is present.
In certain instances, hard contact lenses were shown to cause the same changes in corneal structure as soft contact lenses, though these changes were more dramatic because rigid lenses are capable of inflicting greater trauma on the eyes.
College Student Goes Blind After Wearing Disposable Contacts For 6 Months.