The eye has a range of natural defence systems which very effectively protect the eye’s tissues from inflammation and infection. The placement of a contact lens on the eye, however, places an added burden on these systems, which can sometimes result in an adverse response or event.

Key Steps to Ensuring Contact Lens Safety

With millions of people worldwide benefiting from the safe use of contact lenses, it is important that we continue to learn about how to minimise the risks of ocular complications associated with contact lens wear.

One of the possible contact lens related complications may be microbial keratitis, which is a rare eye infection, affecting approximately 4 in 10 000 daily-wear and 20 in 10 000 extended-wear contact lens wearers annually. Microbial keratitis is the only contact lens related complication that is potentially sight threatening.

The risk of infection can be significantly reduced by following good lens care and hygiene practices and not sleeping in lenses unless they are specifically designed for night wear. Regular comprehensive eye examinations are recommended for prompt diagnosis and treatment of any contact lens related problems.

The Institute has produced a leaflet which provides the key steps to ensuring contact lens safety for contact lens wearers.

  • Ask your practitioner if you have any questions about contact lens care
  • Seek professional advice immediately and remove your contact lenses if your eyes become red or sore