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Urban Myths

17/06/2013 - Contact Lenses

Here’s a little story that seems to resurface every couple of years to scare the blazes out of anyone who wears contact lenses near arc welding. Has anyone heard of the story that goes a little like this?

There was this iron-worker who used to wear contact lenses at his work. Apparently, the story goes, he received a welding flash. He went home as he usually does at the end of the day and when he removed his lenses, he removed his corneas that were stuck to the lenses. Blah! Sounds horrific doesn’t it? Did it happen? Can it happen? Simply, the answer is NO. This story is a crock. It never happened. It can’t happen. As I understand it, there has been a fair bit of research with people trying to weld contact lenses to various types of corneas over the years in response to this myth. How many have been successful? Not one. Now that’s not to say that if you over wear your lenses and ignore the warning signs of redness, wateriness and sensitivity to glare, that you can’t do your eyes a substantial injury. Wearing contact lenses when you have these symptoms is just asking for trouble and in the worst case, it can be sight threatening. Some people continue to wear their lenses when they are in obvious pain. How else can you expect this sort of scenario to end? If you ever have a sore, red, watery eye or eyes, take out your lenses and make an immediate appointment with your eye care practitioner. If your eyes look OK, and they feel OK, they probably are OK but keep up your regular checks with your eye care practitioner and enjoy the freedom your contact lenses give you.