Wearing Lenses Safely

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Dr. Heng Chrang is an ophthalmologist offering eye consultation at Prosith Eye Clinic.

Ophthalmologists consider contact lenses particularly useful in correcting the vision of patients whose eyes have unequal focusing ability. Dr Heng Chrang, an ophthalmologist at the Prosith Eye Clinic, said patients with serious discrepancies between their left and right eyes are usually prescribed contact lenses.

“For example, a patient with -7.00 vision in the right eye and -0.5 in the left should be strongly encouraged to wear lenses rather than glasses,” he said. “This type of patient should be prescribed lenses because wearing glasses could cause dizziness or a feeling that the eyes are unbalanced.”

As Cambodia is a hot and dusty country, it is recommended that youths here restrict their use of contact lenses. This also applies to motorbike drivers, who are exposed to constant wind and dust kicked from the street, according to Dr. Chrang. 

These groups “should not wear them all the time; wear them only when necessary because as we all know, our country is very dusty. Without proper care and appropriate use, they can be harmful,” said the doctor, adding that some lenses available in Cambodia do not adhere to import standards, and some are sold despite being past their expiry date, which could also cause problems for the eyes.

“If you buy a quality product with a recognized brand name and check the expiration date, and know how to wear them properly, then it’s not going to be a problem. But I’d request that people not wear lenses all the time just to look stylish; limit them to big occasions like going to a wedding, where you really want to look your best.”

Lenses should be worn as medically necessary, but it is advised that youths not wear them for over 10 hours a day, especially overnight, as the lenses could dry out.

Dr. Chrang further suggests that contacts should be worn only five days a week, leaving two days for the eyes to rest from having direct contact with the lenses. If lenses are not strictly needed, the doctor recommends that glasses should be worn when possible.

According to Dr. Chrang, maintaining lens hygiene is not difficult. While instructions are usually included with lens solution, the doctor strongly cautioned that lens solution should only be used to immerse lenses in while they are being stored in their case. It is not wise to use the solution as eye drops to keep the lenses moist while wearing them, as your eyes could become irritated or inflamed over time, he said. 

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