[Watch] Eye Scratched During Contact Lens Removal Leads Girl To PJ Hospital
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Recently, a TikToker, @fatinrsyfqh ended up in the hospital with a torn cornea. According to her, it started with a corneal abrasion and turned into a corneal ulcer. The video went viral with around 216,000 views and 19.2,000 likes.
This is due to her accidentally removing her contacts using her long, sharp fingernails. She took to her social media to share her experience and educate others not to take it for granted. She expressed that she was rushing at the moment and her nails were scratching her eyes trying to pull her lens out.
Believe it or not, this unintended act can actually lead to long-term blindness if not treated early, as corneal ulcers are one of the leading causes of blindness worldwide.
But that’s just one of the risks if you wear contact lenses improperly. Indeed, it turns out that Malaysians very often take risks with their contact lens wear! It’s easy to sometimes forget the rules and ignore them’for this time only lah‘.
On that note, here are some things that contact lens wearers take for granted that could harm them in the long run. Be honest, have you done this?
Not washing your hands
Washing your hands is the easiest ground rule and if you all ignore it, we just don’t know what to say. We don’t need to tell you that your hands have more germs than a toilet seat, we mean, hasn’t the pandemic taught you enough about hand washing? But hey, we forgot do it anyway. For example, be sure to properly wash your hands after eating something spicy. Good God, you don’t want these sambal residue in your eyes!
Not cleaning your lenses
If they are daily disposables, then of course throw them away. But if it’s a monthly contact lens, sanitize your hands and clean the lenses before you put them away! The rub and rinse technique works best to clean your lenses so that no residue or debris remains on the lens. If you don’t clean your lenses, you risk getting eye infections. Hygiene matters!
Repeated use of your daily disposable lens
They’re called daily disposables for a reason, sis. Daily disposable contacts are thinner, more fragile, and cannot retain moisture well for reuse. They can’t be worn overnight and they’re also more expensive than monthly ones! They usually come in a box of 30 pieces compared to just a pair for monthly ones.
Buy from sketchy sources
Did you know that the Medical Device Authority (MDA) prohibits the sale of optical devices or contact lenses on any electronic marketing platform except websites (operated by registered optometric practitioners) with strict guidelines issued by the Malaysian Optical Council (MOC)?
What does that mean? This means that you can no longer buy contact lenses from online stores (including social media stores, they are prohibited)! Or even sketchy drugstore lenses in malls or side streets that sell these colored lenses.
If you want a real lens that is certified and safe, you have to spend a little more to buy them from certified physical or online optical stores. It’s an investment, really. But a real ophthalmological center will even teach you how to properly clean your lenses if you are a novice.
Shower or swim with contact lenses
You like to swim but you can’t see things clearly, automatically you’re not sure you know how to swim anymore. Or you forgot to take out your lens when you’re already about to take a shower. Meh. Take a shower. Do them regularly and hey, you just might get a ticket to a hospital!
Contact lenses and tap water or any other water (pools, oceans, lakes, hot tubs) besides eye solution are not suitable. You may be susceptible to a condition called Acanthamoeba keratitis, where tiny parasites can infect (stick to the lenses) your eyes (cause a white ring) and cause permanent vision loss if not treated early enough. Warning: shocking images.
So, when swimming, you can opt for vision-correcting goggles (buy anti-fog goggles) or wear DAILY disposable lenses while wearing normal goggles. Although it’s still not recommended, you can at least throw the lens away when you’re done swimming instead of wearing the infected lenses again for monthly lenses. You can also opt for Lasik or Lasek surgery to fix any eye problem permanently, but hey, not all of us walk around with a ton of cash in the bank. Better start saving now.
Not replacing your contact lens case
There’s a reason contact lens solution gives you a free lens case every time you buy them. They’re not only, you know, generous, but it’s actually mandatory to change your contact lens case every 3 months because they’ll likely increase the risk of infection if not changed. It’s the same with monthly lenses or the solution itself. They have an expiration date.
They can’t even be stored near heat. Exposing your cases to heat can dry out your contact lens and compromise its quality. Also, you cannot reuse your contact solution in the case because it must be replaced each time you store it. It will be a breeding ground for germs if you don’t change it regularly.
Being near a heat source
No, your lenses will not melt into your eyeballs or cause blindness if you sit too close to a barbecue or simply cook in a kitchen. This is actually fake news because most experts say it’s almost impossible for a contact lens to melt in your eyes. The lentils are even sterilized in extremely hot boiling water before being sold to us so they can pretty much withstand the heat.
However, you should stay away from places where there is smoke or steam. Remove them when you are in a sauna or spa, as your sweat can get into your eyes and cause lens infection. The smoke can dry out your eyes and cause discomfort.
Use an emergency lubricant
We can’t believe we even had to say this, but DON’T PUT YOUR CONTACTS IN YOUR MOUTH to lubricate it. Or even rinse it with tap water and then put it back in place. Big mistake. According to an optometrist and contact lens specialist from UCLA Health, being a dark and moist place, your mouth is an ideal living environment for many types of bacteria and this will lead to infections.
We know, we know, the “emergency” advice in case your lens falls and hits other surfaces, and you don’t have your glasses with you. Therefore, always bring your glasses or contact cases with fresh contact lens solution when you are out and about.
Sleep with your contact lenses still on
And the naps? The sure answer is always no. Experts suggest removing them even if you want to take a nap, as sleeping while wearing lenses regularly can lead to eye infection. No, the lens will not go to the back of your head but it will dry out your eyes. Contacts coat the surface of your eyes reducing the amount of oxygen (that’s why you should choose those with high water/oxygen content) and moisture in your eyes and this act increases dramatically while you sleep .
Overall, contact lenses are indeed safe IF you take good care of them and use a certified one. You may have done some or all of the things above and never got bad results. Your luck may be so great. But don’t encourage anyone else to do the same because we all have different possibilities, so prevention is better than cure. Be hygienic, be careful and always be mindful when dealing with your eyes.
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