Author: Dr Val Phua MBBS, MMed (Ophth), FRCOphth, FAMS
Photo by: Fernando Brasil
Contact lens wear has long been the sought after solution to being free from glasses. It is reasonably simple to put them on but with long term usage, some may notice an increasing intolerance to them and may have to give up using them altogether.
Laser vision correction is a very feasible alternative for this group of patients who are unable to tolerate contact lens use and still desire freedom from glasses.
What are some causes of contact lens intolerance? With the busy schedules many have today, prolonged contact lens wear is common with many using them for more than 10 hours a day. This habit deprives the eye of sufficient oxygen and damage the cornea with time. In addition, it may also cause significant dry eyes and affect vision. With the tight squeeze for time, proper contact lens handling, cleaning and maintenance may sometimes be compromised increasing the risk of an allergic reaction and eye infections like a corneal ulcer.
These patients may experience symptoms including dry eyes, redness, itchiness, pain when wearing the contact lens and some even notice a white spot on the cornea. It is important to check in immediately with your eye surgeon should there be concerns about contact lens related complications as infections associated with contact lens wear tend to be quite aggressive and can be blinding if not treated urgently.
If you find yourself identifying with some of the issues above, know that there are alternative options to achieve glasses freedom besides contact lens use. Laser vision correction and implantable collamer lens (ICL) safely and effectively treats the eye for myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism. Laser vision correction comprise of different techniques including: Advanced surface ablation, LASIK and SMILE. These procedures utilise a laser to reshape the cornea and help the eye focus clearly. Implantable collamer lens (ICL) places a special lens in the eye which sits in front of the natural lens of the eye to correct the various refractive errors of the eye. This procedure spares the cornea from any thinning from laser vision correction.
Book an appointment with your eye surgeon to understand the differences in the procedures and to decide which is the best for your eye to achieve your vision goals.