Contact lenses shine for vegetarians
by George Y. Mousa, PhD, OD

A local optometrist has discovered that
vegetarians avoid damaging deposits on their contact lenses

Deposits are the main cause of spoilage of soft contact lenses. Moreover,it damages the eyes by leading to conjunctivitis and eye infections.
Contact lens wearers have tried many ways to remove the deposits by cleaningwith daily cleaners and weekly protein removing tablets. These cleaningmethods work on some deposits, but they don't remove every kind of depositespecially the hard ones termed as jelly bumps. These jelly bumps are madeup of calcium and cholesterol polymers. They get into the matrix of thesoft contact lens and are impossible to remove without damaging the lens.The higher the water content of the lens, the larger it's pores and themore it will attract jelly bumps. Thus patients wearing high water contentlenses have to replace them more frequently. This made the disposable lensesvery popular. They replace them every two weeks before the build up of deposits.
In my office I have fitted many patients with all kinds of soft contactlenses and I have noticed that vegetarian patients do not need to replacetheir contacts as frequently. Some of them are wearing the high water contentlenses for one year with no jelly bumps. This is very unusual for high watercontent lenses. The only explanation I have for this phenomenom is thatvegetarian patients have less cholesterol in their tears; consequently theyhave less cholesterol deposits on the soft contact lenses.