Are you prone to eye infections as a contact lens wearer?

12 May 2014

For many people who require lenses to correct their vision, contact lenses can be the preferred option rather than having to wear awkward and heavy glasses.

As a contact lens wearer, it is important not to get complacent with your routine as your eyes are sensitive to foreign objects and bacteria, and can easily become irritated or infected.

While contact lenses are initially completely sterile, how they are handled before insertion into the eye can affect how they are tolerated by the eye.

If contact lenses are unclean, damaged or an ill-fit for your eyes, they can cause eye redness, general irritation or lead to infection.


This common eye infection of the cornea can be attributed to contact lenses and is often caused by bacteria, fungus or the herpes virus getting into the eye. Keratitis usually results in the cornea which is located at the front of the eye becoming inflamed and can also result in excessive tear production or watery eyes.

Dry Eyes

Adequate tear production is essential so that eyes remain lubricated at all times, but sometimes prolonged use of contact lenses can impact the level of tear production in the eye which causes painful dry eyes.


When the thin membrane found inside the eyelid known as the conjunctiva becomes inflamed and results in severe itching and watering in the eye along with a discharge that tends to dry in the corners of the eye and eyelashes.

Corneal abrasion

If the cornea is scratched or damaged by a person trying to insert or remove a contact lens it can develop into a corneal infection. As the cornea contains many nerves it can be quite painful and cause an overproduction of tears.

In all of the above instances, it is vital that contact lenses are not worn as they could exacerbate any eye infection and/or prevent effective healing.

An alternative to contact lenses

If you wear contact lenses and have noticed an increase in the frequency or occurrence in any of the eye infections or irritations, it may be a case that contact lenses may not be a long term, feasible solution to your vision defect.

In this instance, alternative corrective measures such as Laser Eye Surgery at Optilase Northern Ireland can be considered instead of resorting to wearing glasses.

For more information on alternatives to glasses and contact lenses, arrange a free consultation on 08000 121 565.

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