Eye Emergencies and Contact Lenses: Safety Tips for Lens Wearers

Eye Emergencies and Contact Lenses: Safety Tips for Lens Wearers

"Pink eye" or conjunctivitis comes in three primary forms: viral, bacterial, or allergic. Viral conjunctivitis, commonly linked to colds or respiratory infections, causes a watery discharge and redness. It typically resolves on its own within one to two weeks, with warm compresses offering relief. Bacterial conjunctivitis, resulting from bacteria like Staphylococcus, produces a yellow-green discharge. Prescribed antibiotic eye drops or ointments can treat this effectively. Allergic conjunctivitis, instigated by allergens such as pollen or pet dander, leads to intense itching but is not contagious. Avoiding allergens and using allergy eye drops is the recommended treatment. Regardless of the type, it's crucial to practice good eye hygiene, ensuring prevention and promoting recovery.

Contact lenses have undoubtedly become an integral part of many people's daily routines, offering clear vision without the constraints of glasses. However, the very nature of contact lenses - their proximity to the delicate structures of the eye - means that, if not used correctly, they can lead to eye emergencies. For every contact lens wearer, understanding potential hazards and how to address them is essential. Let’s embark on this enlightening journey of eye care for all lens enthusiasts out there.

Contact Lenses: A Breeding Ground for Bacteria?

A common misconception is that contact lenses are sterile and immune to contaminants. In reality, if not cleaned and stored properly, they can become a breeding ground for harmful bacteria. A lens left in solution for too long, or worse, in water, can harbor pathogens that lead to infections once placed on the eye. It's imperative to always use fresh contact lens solution and store lenses in a clean case. In the event of any discomfort or redness while wearing contacts, it’s wise to remove them immediately and consult an eye care professional.

Over-Wearing Lenses: Pushing Past the Limit

While it's tempting to maximize the use of a single pair of lenses, especially when they still feel comfortable, over-wearing them can lead to complications. Extended wear can deprive the eyes of oxygen, leading to conditions like corneal neovascularization, where blood vessels grow into the clear cornea. Additionally, tiny tears or deformities can develop in an over-worn lens, potentially scratching the eye. It's crucial to adhere to the recommended wearing schedule provided by your optometrist and replace lenses as advised.

Foreign Objects and Contact Lenses: A Recipe for Disaster

Anyone who has worn contact lenses knows the sensation of getting a foreign object, be it an eyelash or dust, trapped under the lens. This not only causes immediate discomfort but can also lead to abrasions on the cornea if not addressed promptly. If you ever feel that something is trapped under your lens, it's essential to remain calm. Avoid rubbing the eye, as this can exacerbate the issue. Instead, wash your hands thoroughly and try to remove the lens gently, rinsing it before re-insertion. If the discomfort persists, seek medical attention.

Ignoring the Need for Regular Check-ups

Regular eye exams might seem like an unnecessary chore, especially if one feels their vision is stable and their lenses are comfortable. However, routine check-ups with an optometrist ensure that your eyes remain healthy and that you are using the most suitable lenses for your needs. Over time, the eyes can undergo subtle changes, both in vision and health. Regular exams can catch and address issues like lens intolerance or the beginning of an eye condition early on.

Contact lenses, for many, are a gift that offers both functionality and freedom. However, with this gift comes responsibility. Ensuring proper lens hygiene, adhering to wearing schedules, being vigilant about foreign objects, and not overlooking the importance of regular check-ups can make all the difference between clear, comfortable vision and potential eye emergencies.

As lens wearers, we have the privilege of clear, unobstructed sight. Yet, this privilege demands respect and care. Our eyes, after all, are the windows to the world, deserving of gentle treatment and attention. So, let's cherish this gift of vision by committing to the best practices in lens wear and eye care, ensuring that our eyes remain as vibrant and healthy as the world they allow us to see.

Written on behalf of Blink Eyewear.


Water can contain pathogens harmful to the eye. Always use a recommended contact lens solution.

Yes, a torn lens can scratch the cornea. If a lens tears, remove it gently. If you face difficulties, consult an eye care professional.

Avoid rubbing the eye. Wash your hands, remove the lens gently, rinse it, and re-insert. If discomfort persists, consult a professional.

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Blink Eyewear boasts the largest collection of eyewear in Calgary, but our 4 locations are also home to the region’s finest optometrists. Just as you will not find a better store to shop for your eyewear, you will not find a better vision clinic to do your eye exam or treat your eye condition. 

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