The UK is the largest contact lens market in Europe, with over 789 million contact lenses sold in 2018. It’s easy to understand why. At first sight (pun intended), contact lenses appear to be a practical option. They are invisible and also better suited to some activities, such as swimming or running.
However, if you are a newcomer who has never worn contact lenses before, you need to make sure you are not putting yourself at risk. Indeed, while wearing lenses can be practical and life-changing for those who need eyesight correction, it also requires an additional hygienic routine. Additionally, it can also be helpful to understand the potential risks so that you know what to avoid and how to plan your eye health day after day.
#1. The packaging can be faulty
Choosing the packaging is half the battle when it comes to bringing a product to the market. For contact lens manufacturers, improper packaging can affect users dramatically. Indeed, the choice of packaging is defined in terms of size, material and functionality. No contact lenses wearer wants to drop their lenses as they tear off the packaging lid. Unfortunately, depending on the material – read glue – used as part of the packaging process and the shape of the contact lens holder, accidents could happen! It’s something to bear in mind when you decide to wear contact lenses, as you could lose them down the sink before you get time to put them on!
#2. You could get dirt stuck underneath the lens
Most people think of contact lenses as a clean eyesight correction that doesn’t get dirty. Unfortunately, it’s not always the case. You could accidentally trap allergens or some dust particles underneath your contact lens, keeping unwanted toxins close to your eye. While these may be invisible; they can cause an itchy feeling. If you are on and about with no option to cleanse your contact lenses, you may be at risk of touching your eyes more often.
The more you touch your eyes, the more likely you are to spread potential germs and dirt on the surface of both the eye and the lens. On the other hand, wearing glasses can reduce direct interaction at the surface of the eye, keeping the risk of infections to a minimum.
#3. They dry your eyes
Not every eye is comfortable wearing contact lenses. For some people, the lens can dry out the eye considerably, causing itchiness and scratchiness. While there are eye drops available to tackle dryness, it’s fair to say that it’s not a long-term solution.
If you already find yourself experiencing dryness symptoms even without wearing contact lenses, it’s a good idea to choose glasses instead. Thankfully, you have a huge choice of frame designs to enhance your face shape and your personality. Ultimately, stylish frames are a great accessory, and it’s not something you can get from a pair of contact lenses!
#4. They can’t stay on forever
It doesn’t matter what kind of contact lenses you’ve chosen. The principle remains that nobody should wear their contact lenses for an extended period of time. Some manufacturers provide long-wear lenses that are suitable to sleep in too. However, you still need to take off your lenses regularly to prevent protein build-up on the surface. Indeed, protein build-ups can be frustrating as they cause blurry lenses, making them ineffective as a correction for your eyesight. But build-ups are also linked to eye infections and inflammation, which is why it’s important to have a strict hygiene routine.
#5. You never wash your hands thoroughly
As much as the pandemic has forced people to change the way they washed their hands, most of us are unlikely to wash them thoroughly enough. As a contact lenses wearer, you may discover it at your own expenses.
Here are some things you want to avoid at all costs:
If you are cooking with onions or chillies, it doesn’t matter how much you scrub your hands. You are still likely to experience unpleasant burning sensations when you put your contact lenses in.
If you’ve been using caustic chemicals with gloves, you will probably feel a mild burn if you touch your contact lenses, even if you’ve been washing your hands in the meantime.
#6. You tend to forget plan B
You shouldn’t go anywhere without any eyesight solutions. Unfortunately, when you wear contact lenses, it’s easy to forget that you need to pack your glasses with you. Indeed, you never know what could happen.
Contact lenses wearers have to learn the hard way. You would be surprised to know how easy it is to lose one contact lens. On a windy day, tears can build up in your eye and could remove the lens in a blink. If you are going swimming, the treated pool water can dry out your contact lenses and detach them from the surface of the eye. You blink, and they drop into the water. Are you rubbing your eyes to keep yourself awake? The friction could dislodge the lens. The bottom line: There’s no point wearing contact lenses if you don’t have glasses at the ready!
#7. They can get stuck in your eye
This might freak you out, but it is true. You could lose your contact lens inside your eye. First of all, a word of warning: when a contact lens gets stuck in your eye, it doesn’t travel to the back of your eye. The most common situation is to lose the lens underneath your upper lid. In some cases, wearers believed the lens had dropped out while it was hiding all the time underneath the lid. In this case, the lens could lead to infection, especially if you leave it there for too long. If you are aware of the position of the lens, you can use saline solution to rehydrate it and remove it.
Contact lenses are a practical and easy solution that provides eye corrections. However, if you are not used to wearing them, it can be better to opt for glasses, which are less likely to bring additional health risks to your eyes. Let’s not forget that glasses can be a cute and stylish alternative.
Of course, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t wear contact lenses. But if you do, make sure you can avoid some of the most dangerous risks.