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Ideal Eyes Blog

How contact lenses bought on-line could damage your cornea

Posted by Andrea Spencer

Contact lenses

Modern contact lenses are available to wear either on a daily or monthly basis. Regardless of which option you choose, it is essential that you follow the guide-lines for care and hygiene in order to avoid the risk of infection.

As a seasoned lens wearer,  it may tempting to cut corners with the care of the lens itself and the habits of wearing them. It has been highlighted in recent news articles, however, that taking risks with hygiene routines and where you choose to buy your lenses, can have a hugely detrimental effect on the health of your eyes.

The cornea

The cornea - the clear 'window' that covers the front of the eye, allows normal vision through the refraction of light. Damage to the cornea can occur through many means. It is usually quite resistant to damage through physical means and can be quick to heal as the first layer consists of fast growing, easily regenerated cells. However, if the cornea is affected by infection, it can have disastrous effects on the vision, even risking blindness.

The environment of the eye is the ideal place for bacteria to grow. Moist and warm, once infection is introduced it can be very tricky to bring under control and eradicate.

The damage: Acanthamoeba

Acanthamoeba is a parasitic infection that can get into the eye from un-sterilised water such as swimming pools, soil or poorly produced or out of date contact lens solutions.

The Daily mail recently used the case of 21 year old student, Saira Hussain to illustrate the dangers of buying contact lenses from suppliers on the internet. In the article, Professor John Dart of Moorfields Eye Hospital, London said, " People will want to save money. So a student or a young person may try to cut corners to save money. They will get their eyes tested for lenses in the high street, but then get new supplies of lenses on the net. They will decide to save money by avoiding contact lens checks. But these checks are vital, not just to see if the prescription needs changing, but to check eye health. You are putting a foreign object in your eye, and it is important your eyes are checked to make sure your contact lenses aren’t harming your eyes."

Avoiding the risk

Nowadays, soft contact lenses can be worn either on a daily basis (disposed of at the end of the day), or monthly (worn on subsequent days and cleaned daily before being replaced after a month's use). Since a contact lens is technically a 'foreign object', a qualified ophthalmic optician/optometrist needs to monitor your eyes regularly to ensure your complete safety and peace of mind. Treatment can be toxic, lengthy and not always 100% effective, so prevention is absolutely essential.

Ideal Eyes' principles of care and value extend through to our provision of contact lenses, emphasising the importance of regular checkups and continued advice to all our contact lens patients. If you already wear lenses when you come to see us, we will ensure the lenses and cleaning solutions are the same or equivalent to those you are used to.

If you have any questions you can check our F. A .Q . page or contact us and talk to one of our friendly staff members.

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