Not everyone is a suitable candidate for contact lens wear especially patients with a history of repeated eye infections, allergic reactions, or low tear production. As with any other medical device, contact lensesare not without a degree of risk of adverse effects.
The major risks of contact lens wear include eye infection, corneal abrasion, and allergic reaction. Fortunately, most of these complications are infrequent and can be avoided by careful fitting and proper follow up care by the practitioner, and compliance of instructions by the patient, especially with hand hygiene and Contact Lens Care.
Use of non-prescription contact lenses.
Historically, all contact lenses, including tinted and costume lenses have been considered and evaluated as medical devices. A prescription is required by an eye health care professional such as an ophthalmologist and Contact Lens Practitioner.
Although contact lenses provide visual and cosmetic benefits, their use carries some risk of ocular complications, the most serious being microbial keratitis, which can lead to vision loss.
Thus, proper evaluation and fitting and instruction on the care, cleaning and wear of contact lenses is important to reduce the risk of ocular complications and vision loss.
Risks associated with improper wear, care and cleaning of contact lenses include allergic reactions, bacterial infections, corneal abrasions, corneal ulcers and epithelial keratopathy, corneal thinning, corneal neovascularization, and corneal warpage.
In some patients, contact lenses may not be advisable because of pre-existing conditions such as significant eyelid, tear film, or corneal abnormalities.
An important consideration is that these risks of ocular complications are the same whether or not the refractive error is being corrected, because these are inherent in the contact lens, or in the Ocular Surface.
Illegally sold costume contact lenses
Costume contact lenses come in a variety of colors and designs and are popular as a fashion accessory especially among young people.Some ophthalmologists have reported treating patients for problems associated with wearing costume contact lenses sold illegally, from places such as beach stores and beauty salons.
In many cases, it is also unclear who manufactured the contact lenses. This may mean that the lenses were made with unapproved material in possibly unsanitary conditions.
Many people incorrectly assume they do not need to see an Eye Care Professional or obtain a prescription if they are not wearing contact lenses to correct refractive errors such as myopia (near-sightedness).
Contact lenses are considered medical devices whether or not they are prescribed to correct refractive errors. If contact lenses are not properly fitted by an eye care professional such as an Ophthalmologist or Contact Lens Practitioner, or if they are not cared for or cleaned properly, they can cause problems that can result in irreparable harm and even permanent vision loss.
Contact Lens Related Eye conditions and Diseases.
Some eye conditions and diseases that can be caused by contactlenses include: