Your eyes produce tears for an important reason other than to release your emotions – your tears are designed to protect your eyes from irritation. If you’ve ever experienced conjunctivitis, commonly called “pink eye,” you know how painful the infection and accompanying inflammation of the layer of tissue that lines the inner surface of your eyelid and covers the front of your eye can be.
Conjunctivitis is a common eye disease, especially in children, which is caused by a viral or bacterial infection. It’s highly contagious and is easily spread in at home and at school. It is usually a minor infection, however, conjunctivitis can develop into a more serious problem.
- There is a type of conjunctivitis that is unique to people who wear hard contact lenses and soft lenses that are not replaced frequently. It’s called Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis – an allergic conjunctivitis that can result from the constant presence of a foreign body, such as your contact lenses, in your eyes. Giant papillary conjunctivitis causes large bumps to form under your eyelids that may extend to your lower lids. The painful feeling is similar to tiny rocks under your lids that scratch your eye with each blink.
- This condition develops slowly – with burning, redness, irritation, blurred vision and increased eye discharge as symptoms. It may also feel like your contacts are moving out of place when you open and close your eyes. If diagnosed, your eye doctor may prescribe drops designed to treat conjunctivitis and reduce the itching and burning.
- You should avoid wearing your lenses and switch to your glasses until all signs of infection and irritation disappear. You may want to try lenses made of a different material or switch from rigid to soft, disposable lenses. There are lenses that are designed for daily use only, which greatly limits the chances of bacteria build-up.
If you are concerned about your contact lens use or would like to learn about permanent laser vision correction, call for a consultation appointment with one of our doctors, today: (800) 676-5050.