As human beings, we are entitled to options and choices. In healthcare, professionals have a duty to help patients with considerations of the pros & cons of treatments. The objective is to help derive the correct choice for the individual.
The benefits of spectacles
- No risk of infection
- No need to touch the eyes!
- Fashion accessory!
Advantages of contact lenses
- Helpful in sport (I can actually head the football!)
- Potentially increase the field of view
- Circumvents fogging and steaming (particularly whilst wearing masks)
However, as with all things in life there are also risks to consider:
- Dexterity of putting in the lens
- Occasional trauma in taking out lenses: corneal abrasions
- Propensity for developing symptoms of dry eyes
- Strict hygiene must be adopted as CL do have a risk of serious infections, called microbial keratitis. In eye casualty we commonly see these infections and it’s important to stress that they are sight threatening. The risk of infections can be minimised by using lenses sensibly, including:
- Never sleep in lenses
- Never shower in lenses
- Never swim in lenses
- This is even more important to bear in mind with the COVID-19 pandemic in mind
Ultimately, CL can be a safe approach to refractive correction. However, it’s sensible to follow certain precautions including:
- Avoid using CL for more than 12 hours a day
- Give at least two/three days CL free
- Hand washing is crucial
- Aim to use daily disposable lenses where-ever possible
This blog is contributed by Gurjeet Jutley.