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Abusing contact lenses can be expensive

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Surely contact lenses have helped many people improve, not just the sight, but the safety and confidence in themselves. However, excessive use, or directly its abuse, can take its toll in the form of infectious ulcerative keratitis. Avoid it

Since the 1980s, wearing contact lenses (LC) has become a very important risk factor for infectious ulcerative keratitis, an inflammation of the cornea that can have complicated consequences.

The increase in the number of users of contact lenses in young people gives more prominence to the social impact that these ailments may have.

The incidence of infectious keratitis ranges from 2 per 10,000 soft contact lens wearers (LCBs) to 25 per 10,000 wearers of night-time silicone hydrogel LCBs.

The risk of infectious keratitis is three times greater in daily-use LCB users compared to LC-Rigid gas permeable: the risk is increased five-fold if used overnight.

Users of LCB daily replacement, explains this ophthalmologist, have a risk up to three times greater according to the rigidity and type of LCB; finally users of silicone hydrogel LCB have a three- to five-fold increased risk depending on their nocturnal use.

“If these infections are not diagnosed in time,” he warns, “the patient may end up with a corneal transplant or losing his sight.”

Other risk factors

But wearing contact lenses presents other important risk factors. For example, the hygiene of the case, the type and cleaning solution used and the habits of use such as bathing or swimming with contact lenses and hand washing; Smoking, low income and the acquisition of lenses online are also listed as risk-increasing elements.

Dr. Martínez Osorio warns of a factor that has produced in Spain in the last year fungal keratitis; Refers to the white marks of certain cleaning solutions that are sold in opticians and supermarkets. “The white marks do not have the same quality control and the antiseptics enough to kill the mushrooms that can grow in the cases,” he says.

It also launches an alert message about the infections of a very dangerous parasite, acanthamoeba, which produces very severe and aggressive infections, difficult to eradicate, much worse than the effects of a fungus or bacteria.

Precautions and cautions

The expert also does not recommend sleeping with contact lenses, unless they are made for that.

Dr. Martínez Osorio does not hesitate to advise that the first precaution is to follow the recommendations of the manufacturers. “The lenses are made to be used as prescribed, weekly, biweekly, monthly, annual use … but with proper cleaning and hygiene recommendations, such as washing hands every time,” he recalls.

He also points out that with lenses you should never bathe in the pool or in the sea, and never wash them with tap water.

And how many hours can they be in your eyes? Neither does he doubt in the answer: The least possible. “Let no one get used to 16 hours a day, the fewer hours the better; And if there is intolerance to restrict or nullify its use. The less you use more years you can enjoy them, “he says.

Another very clear recommendation: do not sleep with them. And also avoid colored glasses, which were long fashionable, but now much less.

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