If you’re a contact lens wearer, you’ve more than likely worn them longer than you’re supposed to at some point in time. Whether its coming home and sleeping in them after a long day or just forgetting to take them, many lens wearers will admit to improper contact lens use. Unfortunately, as convenient as leaving your contacts in can be, it is incredibly detrimental to your eye health and vision.

While many people use daily use contacts, the time range can extend all the way to month-long contacts and longer. The type of the contact defines the amount of time the lens can be used. The most common, conventional soft lenses, have the second longest usability after the rigid gas permeable lenses. Disposable lenses usually only have a time range of two weeks. There are many different lens options but all too often, contact wearers are wearing their contacts longer than recommended which can lead to eye infections and vision damages.

Dirty Contact Lens

Simply put, your contact need time to “breathe”. Even though they are porous, which allows the transfer of gases and other essential elements to and from the eye, contacts also collect germs, bacteria. Consider your contacts like a sponge. They can get dirty over time and contain a lot of nasty things you don’t want close to your eye. Just as you wouldn’t put a dirty old sponge in your eye, the same goes for your contacts.

Overusing the contact lens restricts oxygen to the thin layer of cells that protect and cover the cornea. These cells become weak because of the lack of oxygen which results in weakening the ability to fight bacteria. This is how eye infections occur.

What You Can Do

The easiest solution: take your contacts out when it is time. Set a reminder on your phone if you are someone who forgets to take them out. If they are day wear contacts, take them out each day. If they are month long, take them out at the end of each month.

You should also keep doctor recommended cleaning solution in supply as well. You never want to lubricate your lens with saliva or water. Too many germs and bacteria exist in those conditions.  Many eye infections have been a result of a contact not being cleaned sufficiently. To help ward off bacteria, also change your contact case in a timely manner as well.  

As always, we hope the best for you and your eye health. If you do get an eye infection, please do not hesitate to come see us!

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