Hygiene & Complications
Contact lenses are among the safest forms of vision correction when patients follow the proper care and wearing instructions provided by their doctor. However, when patients do not use contact lenses as directed, the consequences may be dangerous. Inappropriate contact lens wear can result in many complications for the eyes. Some examples of contact lens related complications are described below.
Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis
Giant papillary conjunctivitis is a common complication of contact lens wear. Because of the high prevalence of giant papillary conjunctivitis in contact lens wearers, every patient who wears contact lenses should be considered as a potential patient with giant papillary conjunctivitis.
Long term use of contact lenses can be a factor in the development of dry eyes. The primary approaches used to manage and treat dry eyes include adding tears, conserving tears, increasing tear production, and treating the inflammation of the eyelids.
The classic description of fungal keratitis is a grayish-white corneal infiltrate with a rough, dry texture and feathery borders. Delayed treatment may worsen the course of the disease and the patient's prognosis.
Corneal abrasion may occur from a tiny particle getting under the lens. This is far more common with RGP than soft lenses. There is a varying degree of pain or discomfort and a feeling of foreign body sensation. If deeper corneal layer is affected or the abrasion is over a large area, immediate medical treatment is needed.
Corneal neovascularisation is the ingrowth of abnormal blood vessel into the cornea from the limbus. The occurrence of neovascularisation requires immediate lens change to allow sufficient oxygen supply to the cornea.
Corneal oedema (swelling) is related to insufficient oxygen to the cornea. Improperly used extended wear lenses are the most likely cause. If detected early and remedial action taken, the cornea will most likely without complications.
Corneal ulcer is the most devastating contact lens complication. The responsible micro-organisms to this complication may be bacteria, fungi or parasitic amoeba. Delay in treatment of this condition can lead to corneal scarring or corneal perforation in extreme case.