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Can Contact Lenses Cause Glaucoma?

can-contact-lenses-cause-glaucoma

ANSWER:

Contact lenses do NOT cause glaucoma. 

 

There are currently no scientific studies to back the theory that contact lenses can cause glaucoma. In fact, a recent study concluded that contact lenses made with vitamin E may help to prevent glaucoma.

What is known about glaucoma though is that it is essentially a hereditary condition, thus individuals who have a family history of glaucoma and other eye diseases are more prone to this condition[1].

What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma that occurs when there is an excess of fluid that is produced by the eye, causing it to build up, causing an increased pressure that damages the optic nerve[2]. Glaucoma can also occur when fluid inside the eye does not drain properly[3].

Glaucoma is a condition that should be prevented and managed early on because untreated glaucoma patients can develop complete loss of vision due to the high levels of pressure inside the eyes. Statistics show that four point five million individuals have become blind due to glaucoma[4].

Because this is a hereditary condition, glaucoma may be present in the individual even if its manifestation occurs later on in life. Therefore, it vital that individuals should have their eyes checked regularly even if they do not see or feel any of the common symptoms of glaucoma, in order to effectively abate the development of the disease[5].

There are two main types of glaucoma, namely: open-angle glaucoma and angle-closure glaucoma. Glaucoma can be treated using medications such as eye drops which lessens the fluid produced inside the eye; by laser surgery and microsurgery[6].

What are Contact Lenses?

Contact lenses are either soft, gel-like plastic lenses or gas permeable lenses that are worn on the outer eye in order to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism while they are worn[7].

Contact lenses are generally worn for the duration of the day and removed every night. But with the innovations today, contact lenses that are labeled as “extended wear” or “continuous wear” can be worn overnight or for a period that should not exceed thirty days, respectively[8].

The Connection Between Contact Lenses and Glaucoma

There is no scientific evidence to back up the theory that contact lenses can cause glaucoma. In fact, a new study shows just the opposite: that contact lenses may even treat glaucoma[9]. At the 239th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, a presentation was made saying that contact lenses that are made with vitamin E can treat glaucoma and other diseases[10].

 

 

Resources 

[1]“Glaucoma: Types, Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment of Glaucoma.”WebMD – Better Information. Better Health. Ed. W. Barry Lee, FACS. MD. Web. 04 Dec. 2011. <http://www.webmd.com/eye-health/glaucoma-eyes?page=3>.

[2] “Glaucoma: Types, Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment of Glaucoma.”WebMD – Better Information. Better Health. Ed. W. Barry Lee, FACS. MD. Web. 04 Dec. 2011. <http://www.webmd.com/eye-health/glaucoma-eyes?page=3>.

[3] “Glaucoma Questions and Answers.” Glaucoma Research, Information, and Education. The Glaucoma Foundation. Web. 04 Dec. 2011. <http://www.glaucomafoundation.org/info_new.php?id=156>.

[4]“Glaucoma – Sightsavers.” Sightsavers – International Charity. Web. 04 Dec. 2011. <http://www.sightsavers.org/our_work/causes_of_blindness/glaucoma/default.html>.

[5] “Glaucoma: Types, Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment of Glaucoma.”WebMD – Better Information. Better Health. Ed. W. Barry Lee, FACS. MD. Web. 04 Dec. 2011. <http://www.webmd.com/eye-health/glaucoma-eyes?page=3>.

[6] “Glaucoma: Types, Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment of Glaucoma.”WebMD – Better Information. Better Health. Ed. W. Barry Lee, FACS. MD. Web. 04 Dec. 2011. <http://www.webmd.com/eye-health/glaucoma-eyes?page=3>.

[7] Segre, Liz. “The Basics of Contact Lenses – AllAboutVision.com.” Consumer Guide to Eyes, Eye Care and Vision Correction – LASIK, Contact Lenses and Eyeglasses. Web. 04 Dec. 2011. <http://www.allaboutvision.com/contacts/contact_lenses.htm>.

[8]Segre, Liz. “The Basics of Contact Lenses – AllAboutVision.com.” Consumer Guide to Eyes, Eye Care and Vision Correction – LASIK, Contact Lenses and Eyeglasses. Web. 04 Dec. 2011. <http://www.allaboutvision.com/contacts/contact_lenses.htm>.

[9]“Contact Lenses Loaded With Vitamin E May Treat Glaucoma.” Science Daily: News & Articles in Science, Health, Environment & Technology. 24 Mar. 2010. Web. 04 Dec. 2011. <http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100324121002.htm>.

[10] “Contact Lenses Loaded With Vitamin E May Treat Glaucoma.” Science Daily: News & Articles in Science, Health, Environment & Technology. 24 Mar. 2010. Web. 04 Dec. 2011. <http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100324121002.htm>.

 

 

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