Contact Lenses in Australia, are only used by 8% of the population that need vision correction. One might logically conclude that this is because most people choose to have laser vision correction. Well you might be surprised to hear that less than 2% choose laser as a vision correction option – the overwhelming reason not to proceed is the fear of something going wrong. It is obvious from these statistics that at least 90% of the population that requires visual correction is choosing spectacles.
Another amazing statistic is that of all the people starting contact lenses this year, about 50% will have dropped out by next year (some sooner and some later).
Most people that wear contact lenses just go with the flow and do not realize that there are many things they are doing wrong or could do better. By being oblivious to these issues many are doomed to failure.
Fortunately, you can be different! Over the course of the next few Contact Lens posts, Dr Jim Kokkinakis will go through some vital points to minimize the chance of you becoming a statistic of contact lens failure.
Possibly the single most important point is not cleaning or disposing of contact lenses and storage cases properly. Often the patient and the practitioner contribute to either a misunderstanding or just plain laziness. Most of the time it is probably a bit of both.
It might sound like common sense that being hygienic with your contact lenses is critical to minimise problems but… many studies have demonstrated that more than 60% of people do not clean or dispose of their contact lenses properly!
At The Eye Practice we specialise in all types of contact lenses from the most simple to the most complex. Half of our day involves managing contact lens complications. These are referred in by other optometrists, GP’s and even ophthalmologists. Now many of our new patients are finding us off the internet.
Not being hygienic with your contact lenses can cause all sorts of complications from minor to sight threatening.
The above photos represent eye conditions that need treatment. They sometimes can feel similar, although the second photo can sometimes cause a lot of pain. The first photo requires a prophylactic antibiotic with a steroid, whereas the second photo needs hospitalization with round the clock treatment to save the eye. Both of these conditions are much more likely to occur if contact lenses are not cleaned properly and are not disposed of properly and on time.
Another very common condition which can cause contact lens failure but is not eyesight threatening is called Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis.
Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis (GPC) can be observed by flipping the top eye lid upside down. This should be done on most contact lens related eye tests – especially for patients wearing soft contact lenses and especially if they are using the new generation silicon hydrogels and not using daily disposable contact lenses.
Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis can occur because of an ill fitting contact lens, or a contact lens that is dirty. The contact lens causes a frictional irritation under the top eye lid and gradually the GPC reaction occurs. Typically patients will complain of lenses moving excessively in their eyes and a feeling of grittiness. If this issue is not attended to, eventually the patient will become intolerant to the contact lenses and become one of the failure statistics that we have talked about before.
We cannot stress enough how important complying with contact lens cleaning and disposal instructions is to long term successful contact lens wear. RESPECT YOUR CONTACT LENSES and they will respect your eyes!
If you are having any issues with your contact lenses come in and see us. There is a good chance you are doing something wrong that we can advise about and make contact lens wear the liberating experience it should be. Call us on 9290 1899 or MAKE AN APPOINTMENT ONLINE NOW.