As we begin to wind down the summer (I know it feels like it just started) we thought we’d talk about an issue we’ve noticed recently with some of our patients – wearing your contacts too long.
August is upon us and for many of you, this means juggling getting the kids ready to go back to school and cramming in as much summertime fun as you can before it’s over. With the hustle and bustle of so many activities and distractions, it’s quite common for folks to leave their contacts in far longer than they should normally – this is not good. Your eyes, like your brain, need a break every now and then and there are very good reasons why contacts are supposed to be worn only for the time indicated on the prescription. So, let’s go over some of the reasons why you should stop, take a moment and give your eyes a much-needed break.
Your contact lenses are not designed to be permanent fixtures. They are supposed to be removed and/or disposed of and new ones put in. Whether you are wearing hard or soft lenses they do have an expected period of use that you should not exceed. Here’s why.
The main reason you need to remove your contacts and swap them out when required is that the eye needs direct oxygen (primarily the cornea) and contact lenses inhibit that direct flow. This can cause some serious issues if prolonged. These issues include:
- eye irritation and pain
- blurred vision
- light sensitivity
- eye ulcers
If you are experiencing any of these issues you should seek out your primary eye care professional as soon as possible.
Additionally, taking out your contacts to clean them daily, or at the very least every other day, helps prevent infection. Contact lenses are like sponges and absorb all sorts of gunk (technically referred to as biofilm) that inhabit and surround your eyes. When not cleaned out regularly this biofilm can build up and cause infections.
If an infection develops It is hugely important to remove your contacts right away. Continued wear only increases and complicates the infection and can lead to making a minor situation a rather major one. Again, consulting your primary eye care provider when an infection develops is hugely important.
We can all get busy and distracted, or simply end up being a bit lazy, but remember that while incredibly common, contact lenses are medical devices that need to be cared for and used properly. When correctly worn contact lenses are a fantastic alternative to glasses and allow for years of visual enhancement and freedom other options do not provide.
Feel free to contact us if you are experiencing these or any other eye issues. The health of you and your eyes is our passion.