What Really Happens to Your Eyes When Your Overwear Contact Lenses

December 3rd, 2018
young woman putting in contact lens

Contact lenses are a convenience for many patients, but only if you exercise proper hygiene while wearing them. That includes taking your lenses out at night.

For an estimated 45 million people in the United States, contact lenses are the preferred way to improve vision. By offering an unseen way to correct vision without the hassle of glasses, contact lenses make it easy and cost-effective to enjoy everyday activities without interference.

However, contact lens wearers need to keep proper hygiene in mind, lest they experience adverse health effects. These issues are normally mild, but they can become a cause for greater concern if left untreated. Here’s why you shouldn’t wear contacts overnight if you can avoid it:

Knowing the Risks of Wearing Contacts Overnight

One of the primary risks of misusing contact lenses is keratitis or inflammation of the cornea. This can occur if patients wear their contact lenses for too long — commonly by sleeping in them — or by overwearing the same contact lenses past their recommended period of use.

Patients who have developed keratitis can experience redness in the eye, sensitivity, and blurry vision, among other symptoms. While the risks of keratitis can be managed if you receive the care you need early, the long-term effects can be serious: patients who don’t receive proper medical attention can experience partial or complete vision loss.

Establishing Good Contact Lens Hygiene

Enjoying your contact lenses depends on using them as eye care specialists recommend. This means that you should clean them frequently in the sterile solution recommended by your optometrist, take them out before you go to bed, and exchange them with new lenses once you’ve worn them for the designated period of time, whether they’re daily lenses, monthly lenses, or somewhere in between.

If you’re unsure what the best practices are for your particular contact lenses, reach out to your doctor or the product’s manufacturer. By getting yourself into the practice of proper contact lens hygiene, you can reap the benefits of vision correction in a way that fits into your own lifestyle.

Talk to an Eye Care Specialist about Other Options

Although contact lenses offer a convenient alternative to glasses, they’re still not right for everyone. For example, if you find yourself struggling to exercise proper hygiene or you have difficulty ordering your lenses on time and in the quantity you need, it may be time to consider whether alternative options should be on the table.

With LASIK, you can receive the level of vision correction you’re looking for without the hassle of glasses or the hygienic concerns of contact lenses. If this sounds like the option for you, contact Kleiman Evangelista Eye Centers of Texas for a consultation today. Our eye care specialists can help you understand your options and develop the best plan for your eyes.

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