Contact lenses elevate risk of corneal ulcers


Since 1949, when the first ‘corneal’ lenses (contact lenses) were developed, the vision-correction technology has undergone tremendous revolution. Use of contact lenses for both corrective and cosmetic reasons is peaking up day by day. May it be a 10 year old kid or 65 year aged senile person, contacts have gained popularity amongst the vast section of population.  Affordability and ease of procurement of contacts via sources like Internet are further adding to this popularity. But little does one know that improper or prolonged use of contact lenses could have negative impact on eyes and this impact could be big enough to cost one their precious eyes. According to one survey involving about a million people in Northern California, people using contact lenses are 9 times more prone to eye conditions than those who don’t use contacts.

Dr. David Gritz from Montefiore Medical Center in New York along with Dr. Bennie Jeng of the University of California, San Francisco collected information relating use of contact lenses and occurrence of corneal ulcers, eye trauma and other diseases.

More about corneal Ulcers
A corneal ulcer is an open sore on the cornea, the clear structure overlying the iris, which is the colored part of your eye

  • Corneal ulcers are caused due to bacterial, viral and fungal infections
  • Of the above mentioned bacterial infections are common in the eyes of people who wear contact lenses
  • Symptoms of corneal ulcers are red eye, pain in the eye, pus or thick discharge draining from your eye, blurry vision, a white or gray round spot on the cornea that is visible with the naked eye if the ulcer is large

Details of this study
The study involved 1,093,201 patients residing in northern California:

  • The information regarding presence of corneal ulcers while using contact lenses was collected and it was found that 302 patients (0.03%) developed...

    corneal ulcers over 12 months period (from 1998-1999)
  • Extrapolation of this data to whole US, where 30 million people wear contacts suggests that about 71000 cases of corneal ulcers are diagnosed every year
  • While contact lens wearers accounted for 12 percent of all patients in the current study, this group received more than half of the corneal ulcer diagnoses
  • HIV positive patients were at 9 fold more risk of developing corneal ulcers that those who were HIV negative
  • It was also found that young women were at double the risk of developing ulcers as against the men of the same age group. This was however related to higher use of contact lenses amongst women for cosmetic purposes.


According to another study published by Loh and Agarwal, corneal ulcers caused by infections are one of the major causes of blindness worldwide. And because we value our eyesight, it is crucial to actively take care of eyes. Taking care of eyes includes, meticulously choosing the products related to health of eyes. Old fashioned spectacles may not always be cosmetically appealing, but they possibly cannot become the reason for infecting your eyes either and hence are advisable to wear. However, one could still use contacts with proper precaution and regular eye check-ups.

Source: Foxnews

5 Responses

  1. eve isk says:

    Thanks for your helpful Post, I hope you have a good day!

  2. I have been using color contacts lenses for years now, i really love them, i will be trying some black sclera ones very soon.
    I much prefer the ones that last for over one month :)

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