Risks Associated With Contact Lenses

Omoni Oboli, popular nollywood actress wearing a contact lens

A lot of people who wear contact lenses as a fashion item are probably not conscious of the risk the lenses cause to their eyes

|  By Chinwe Okafor  |  May 19, 2014 @ 01:00 GMT

NGOZI Okonkwo, a graduate of Nnamdi Azikiwe University loves to look good at all times. She complements her beauty with artificial make up accessories like contact lenses which are fashionable. She said: “Looking good is good business. I go the extra mile to make sure I look good at all times. Though some people wear these lenses to correct their eye defects, but I wear mine just for fashion and beauty.”

Okonkwo said that she doesn’t wear the lenses on a daily basis but just for special occasions because as beautiful and charming as they look, they could be harmful sometimes. She is not the only one that wears these contact lenses because they have become fashionable for both men and women. Many fashion conscious people including those in the entertainment industry now see contact lenses as a fashion accessory. They use the lenses to enhance their beauty.

Ali Usiholo, a doctor at the University of Benin teaching hospital, UBTH, said that contact lenses are worn directly over the eyes and that they have therapeutic uses. He said that they can be used to correct refractive errors like long and short sightedness, adding that they can also be used to alter the appearance of one’s eyes.  According to him, one of its advantages is that people who are embarrassed with spectacles can use them as well as people who are involved in outdoor activities for instance, footballers.

He also listed some disadvantages which include inflammation and redness of the cornea which can occur when the lenses are not fixed properly adding that microorganisms can settle on the contact lenses and cause infections or bacteria to enter the eye. Ebuka Obi, an optician in Imo state told Realnews that contact lenses are used by people to enhance their looks. He said: “My clients like contact lenses because they are not bogus and they can maintain a low profile by choosing neutral colours. They are lighter, stick to the eyes correctly and give comfort compared to glasses,” he said.

He said that people were reluctant to wear contact lenses initially because they were scared of toying with their eyes. More so, he said, they do not last long and can expire sometimes even before the prescribed period. Contact lenses are not to be worn by people with allergies like itching, redness and pain in the eyes. He also said that they require more care unlike glasses. Contact lenses must be rinsed daily in liquid before and after use.

Research findings have revealed that some risks are associated with the use of contact lenses which include a likely scratch on the cornea if not put properly. They are also likely to slide off the cornea and become hidden under the eye lid. Although contact lenses are better alternative to glasses and are worn by millions of individuals, they can lead to eye infections like dry eyes which are a big concern for many users. People suffering from dry eyes may experience various symptoms including redness, tearing, burning and stabbing pain as if a foreign object is in the eye.

Another concern is the sensitivity of eyelids which is caused by the liquid that is used to clean the contact lenses or by mucus forming on the surface. The symptoms include reduction of eye movement, mucus increasing around the eyes and redness in the eye. The solution to these hazards is to avoid wearing them for some months, some experts say.

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