When I finally decided to make the switch to contacts three years ago, I thought that I’d be done with the annoyances of not being able to find my glasses and not being able to see in the morning. Plus, I was just starting a new job and thought that contacts would be the “feel-good” splurge I needed to begin a new chapter of my life. I couldn’t have been more wrong. My experience with contacts included repeated infections and an allergic reaction to the contact solution that left my eyes red, watery and swollen. Contacts not only forced me to take time off work, they temporarily marred my vision. I feel I was lucky to escape with no permanent eye damage.
Negative effects of contact lenses
Of the nearly 150 million Americans who wear corrective lenses, approximately 36 million wear contact lenses, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology. While contact lenses may be the right choice for many people, my experience with them was more of a nightmare.
I initially thought that wearing contact lenses would be easier on my eyes; the reality for me was more of the opposite. I found later that I was not the only one to suffer adverse effects from contacts, that there were common negative effects from wearing contact lenses, such as the ones listed below:
1. Infections. Contact lenses can make some wearers prone to infection. I developed a strain of pink eye from wearing mine. I found later that this was a somewhat common reaction. Other types of infections involving common lenses use include keratitis, an infection of the cornea, and even parasites.
2. Allergic reactions to contact solutions. One of the risks with contacts, according to WebMD.com, is the potential for an adverse reaction to the contact solution. This is one of the things that happened to me. Such reactions can cause the eyes to swell and tear up, and can affect your vision.
3. Dry eyes. Probably, the most common negative effect of wearing contacts, most wearers experience some degree of dry eyes, according to WebMD.com.
Positive effects of contact lenses
Though my experience was far from positive, in all fairness, there are many advantages to wearing contact lenses for many people.
1. Wider range of vision. Contacts give wearers a much better range of vision, especially peripheral vision. This can be important to those who drive vehicles for a living, law enforcement officers and other who rely on their vision for their work.
2. Offer protection for those in active professions or sports. Contact lenses are generally a safer alternative for those who work in active jobs or who play sports, according to WebMD.
Laser eye surgery as an alternative to contact lenses
After constant irritation and on again, off again eye infections caused by my contacts, not to mention my adverse reactions to various contact solutions, I really started to seriously consider laser eye surgery as an alternative to wearing contacts.
Laser eye surgery is a one-time procedure that uses a laser to re-shape the cornea and correct many types of vision impairments, including near-sightedness, far-sightedness. Such surgery all but eliminates the risk of post-operative infection, since no physical contact is made.
What’s the bottom line? If you’re tired of wearing eyeglasses, contact lenses aren’t the only solution. While they may be right for some people, they do have a number of potential negative effects. It’s best to weigh all of the alternatives before you order those contacts.