Monday, April 1, 2013

Corneal Ulcers: Why Contact Lens Wearers Need Glasses!

What do you think is the biggest risk for really bad infections in contact lens wearers? Give up? The answer is not owning a pair of glasses! That's right, the biggest risk factor for developing a corneal ulcer, as very serious infection, is not having a pair of glasses to wear when your eyes are a little uncomfortable with your contacts, or to give your eyes a break from your contacts.

There are almost 71,000 cases of what eye doctors call ulcerative keratitis each year in the United States. Contact lens wearers are TEN TIMES as likely to get this than non-wearers. There seems to be an increased risk from wearing your contact lenses when you sleep, and wearing contact lenses that you buy from a fashion store is dangerous, too!

Here's a very typical story of how NOT having glasses causes a problem. You have a very high, very strong prescription, and your vision without glasses or contacts is very poor. One of your eyes starts to get red and sore, but you don't have glasses so you just keep wearing your contact lens. Pretty soon...UH OH! have a corneal ulcer. Now you CAN'T wear your contacts, but you still don't have a pair of glasses and you're stuck.

Dr. White always says that the first cardinal rule of contact lens wear is to have a back-up pair of glasses, because you never know. Don't let yourself get caught in a bind. Make sure you own a pair of glasses in addition to your contacts!

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