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Potential Dangers of Sharing Contact Lenses

While it is fairly uncommon to hear of contact lens wearers sharing their prescription lenses with others, the increased popularity of non-corrective colored and costume lenses has led to a surge in the swapping of contact lenses amongst friends. Since the lenses are not used to correct vision problems, costume and colored contacts are often viewed by teenagers and young adults as accessories rather than medical devices that require proper hygienic care.

 

This emergence of lens sharing has lead to an increase in reported instances of eye problems as a result of contact lens wear amongst teenagers. Aside from slight to mild eye irritation, the most common problems associated with swapping contact lenses with another person include eye abrasions, allergic reactions and eye infections.

 

Eye Abrasions

Since contact lenses need to be properly fitted for the wearer’s eyes, those who borrow lenses from a friend are at risk of developing abrasions from an ill-fitting lens rubbing against the eye. Prior to the occurrence of an abrasion, the lens wearer may experience blurred vision, irritation or redness while wearing the lenses.

 

Allergic Reactions

In addition to wearing a lens that doesn’t fit your eye properly, lens sharers are also at risk of experiencing allergic reactions to contact lens solution, cleaning products and even the material that is used to make the contact lens. When a practitioner conducts a contact lens fitting, they can be sure that the contacts fit the wearer properly and that the wearer does not have any known allergies to the lenses or recommended cleaning products.

 

Eye infections

While they are worn contact lenses are constantly bathed in the wear’s tears as well as any bacteria that are present. Since lens swappers do not normally adhere to a strict cleaning regime with their lenses, these bacteria are transferred from one wearer to another. This lack of proper hygiene and transmission of bacteria can lead to potentially dangerous eye infections that if not properly treated can lead to vision loss.

 

Since wearers who are sharing or borrowing contacts from a friend do not visit an eye care practitioner regularly, these problems can persist and escalate quickly since the wearer is not likely to obtain treatment in a timely manner.

 

Colored or costume contact lenses offer a fun and easy way to change your look for an upcoming party or event; however, it is imperative that you receive a non-corrective prescription from a licensed eye care practitioner and receive instructions for how to properly clean and care for the lenses. Without seeking a prescription for costume or colored lens, you can unknowingly expose your eyes to a risky situation.

Source by Elizabeth Catalanotto

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