When created, contact lenses seemed like something of salvation for people seeking to improve eyesight who were for centuries sentenced to wear eyeglasses. According to the most recent data published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 45 million Americans use contact lenses.
Eye contacts allowed you to function quite normally, without worrying about losing the glasses or cleaning them all the time. Perfect, isn’t it? However, as the time passed, eye doctors started to warn people that contact lenses are not such a wonderful solution and there are strict rules one needs to observe in order to actually not harm their eyesight. There are instructions to follow carefully to applying, removing and caring them for avoiding any related health problem, infection or needing a new one in a short time.

Previously people tried to get rid of eyeglasses. Nowadays, more and more people wonder how to get rid of contact lenses and their constraints. Luckily, the dawn of laser eye surgery promises that we can improve eyesight without wearing anything. We may basically be one laser surgery away from the perfect eyesight we so much crave for.

In this article, we will try to point out why wearing your contact lenses may lead to some health issues and how to get rid of contact lenses by having a clear vision.

READ: LASIK Eye Surgery Popular Questions

Wearing Contact Lenses Too Long Is Harmful to Your Eyes

Although they are safe in general, wearing contact lenses can damage your eyes if you use them too long without a break, unless you clean them properly or replace them as guided by your eye doctor.

So, how long is “too long” when it comes to standard contact lenses?

Unfortunately, many people wear eye contacts all day and remove them only to go to sleep. They argue that after all, they wear contact lenses to improve eyesight, and they need a good sight for the whole day. Fair enough, but it comes with a price. As contact lenses place directly on the eye and cover the entire or a part of the cornea, they decrease the amount of oxygen that reaches your eyes. For keeping your eyes healthy, you need a good oxygen supply. For this reason, eye doctors always warn that at least for some time you should remove them even during the day just to let your eyes breathe.
Moreover, many people forget to take out their eye contacts at night, leading to even more damage to their eyesight, not to mention the health of their eyes.

You Should Always Be Careful While You Are Using Them

Contact lenses let you improve eyesight but require good and cautious maintenance. Without it, your eye contacts may lead to lack of oxygen or infection since they easily become a breeding ground for bacteria. Old and worn contact lenses or those who do not fit well can scratch your eye. They can also lead blood vessels to grow into your cornea which is a dangerous case that threatens your eye health as well as the vision.

There is some middle ground such as new generations of contact lenses such as extended wear contact lenses which let more oxygen into the eye but even, they must be used with extreme care and may lead to problems with eyesight and infections.

Why Should You Use Them While There Are Effective Eye Surgeries to Solve Your Problems?

This is a question many ophthalmologists ponder about. Why are people still so attached to the idea of eye contacts as the way to improve eyesight? Nowadays, you can easily and in an affordable way get rid of contact lenses or eyeglasses by means of various laser eye surgery techniques.

The reasons to consider laser eye surgeries include:
• To be not able to wear contact lenses and not to prefer to wear glasses for cosmetic reasons.
• To have the willingness to activities that cannot be done while wearing glasses or contact lenses.
• To be bored with the care routine of contact lenses, or get rid of the worry of problems caused by the misuse of them.

READ: LASIK Eye Surgery – A Patient’s Guide

Which Eye Surgery Is Right for You?

In order to get rid of eyeglasses or eye contacts, patients can pick from a quite rich choice of laser eye surgery methods. These include:
• PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy)– PRK is the pioneer in the field of laser surgery. In it, doctors remove the epithelium of the eye and proceed to reshape the cornea in order to fight with nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. PRK procedures improve eyesight but PRK can be painful and the recovery time may take a bit longer for your vision to stabilize after the operation.

• LASIK (Laser in Situ Keratectomy) – in LASIK laser eye surgery, doctors take a shortcut and create a flap in epithelium rather than removing it totally. Then, they proceed to reshape the cornea quite like in the PRK procedure. Finally, the flap is put on its place, and the healing process starts. As a result, LASIK brings a much quicker recovery and almost immediate improvement in eyesight. However, LASIK may only be performed if your cornea is thick enough. If your cornea is thin, the risk of complications may increase. PRK and LASEK may be a better solution for this case.

• LASEK (Laser Epithelial Keratomileusis)– this laser surgery is a middle ground between LASIK and PRK – the ophthalmologist removes the epithelium only to put it back on after the procedure, and the procedure involves using alcohol to loosen the surface of the cornea.

• Implantable Multifocal Lenses – this generation of eye contacts is implanted inside the eye and is permanent, promising that you can get rid of contact lenses in traditional meaning while not risking the laser eye surgery. This technology is still in development but increasingly used especially in cataract surgery by providing good distance and near vision.

As we can see, the ways to improve eyesight and get rid of contact lenses and eyeglasses are numerous. Additionally, as they become a common practice, they tend to be more affordable. For this reason, we suggest you contact your ophthalmologist and take a closer look at these eye surgeries.

READ: LASIK Eye Surgery and Other Laser And Corneal Procedures

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This content is edited by Flymedi Medical Editors in April 2019.

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