- 10 Things You Should Not Do When Wearing Contacts
- 1. Don’t Rub Your Eyes
- 2. Don’t Touch Your Contacts With Dirty Hands
- 3. Don’t Leave Makeup on Your Lenses
- 4. Don’t Let Sweat and Sunscreen Run Into Your Eyes
- 5. Don’t Get in Water With Lenses On
- 6. Don’t Keep Lenses on Irritated Eyes
- 7. Don’t Forget to Give Your Eyes a Break
- 8. Don’t Fall Asleep With Your Contacts On
- 9. Don’t Expose Your Lens Case to Heat
- 10. Don’t Wear Lenses Without Cleaning Them
- Become a Pro at Wearing Contacts
- Can a contact lens get lost behind my eye?
- What To Do If It Seems Like One Of Your Contacts Is Lost In Your Eye
- Schedule an exam.
- 12 Things You Should Never Do With Your Daily Contacts
- 1. Never Handle Contacts Without Washing Your Hands
- 2. Never Reuse Old Cleaning Solution
- 3. Never Reuse Your Contacts
- 4. Never Put a Dropped Contact Back in Your Eye
- 5. Never Use Aerosol Sprays Around Lenses
- 6. Never Put Contacts in Your Mouth
- 7. Never Wear Your Lenses Too Much
- 8. Never Sleep in Your Contacts
- 9. Never Get Makeup on Your Contacts
- 10. Never Wear Contacts When Your Eyes Are Irritated
- 11. Never Expose Your Contacts to Water
- 12. Never Rub Your Eyes
- Things You Only Know If you Wear Contact Lenses Every Day
- There’s nothing quite like the horror of pinching your own eyeball
- Things get stuck on your eye and you won’t notice
- You are so used to touching your eye it’s no longer remotely gross
- Fake nails are absolute nightmares
- People assume you suddenly have super powers
- Wearing glasses feels bizzare
- Dried-up, crusty old lenses stay in your carpet forever
- Falling asleep with them in is a nightmare
- Horror stories terrify you
- Despite the drawbacks, you’re hooked for life
- Can Daily Contacts Be Worn More Than Once? (What Doctors Say)
- The Safety of Using Daily Contacts More Frequently
- The Importance of Following Recommended Contact Replacement Schedules
10 Things You Should Not Do When Wearing Contacts
Learning how to wear contacts can take a little time. You have to get used to putting them in, taking them out, and maintaining them. But there’s a lot more that goes into contact lens safety. You also have to be extra mindful when wearing contacts so you won’t cause damage to them or your eyes.
You can’t wear contacts 24/7, and there are some situations when contacts aren’t the right eyewear option at all.
Here are 10 “don’ts” of wearing contacts to help you take good care of both your contacts and your eyes.
1. Don’t Rub Your Eyes
Are you someone who rubs your eyes throughout the day because of dryness or irritation or when you’re just plain tired? You can’t do this with contacts in.
When you wear contact lenses, you should try not to rub your eyes at all. This can cause damage to your cornea, which may lead to serious damage to your vision and possibly a need for eye surgery.
Take extra care if you do rub your eyes. Be as gentle as possible. If you have the time, although it may not be practical, remove your contacts beforehand.
2. Don’t Touch Your Contacts With Dirty Hands
Just as you shouldn’t rub your eyes while wearing contacts, the same rule applies when it comes to touching your eyeball or your lenses. At least, not without washing your hands first and making sure they’re completely dry.
Think of all the things your hands come into contact with throughout the day. Between bathroom doors, grocery carts, handrails and computer keyboards, your hands collect a whole bunch of germs. All it takes is one touch of your eye to transfer those germs to your contacts and damage them or your eyes with a serious infection.
3. Don’t Leave Makeup on Your Lenses
This one isn’t as common as rubbing your eye or touching them when they are irritated, but it does happen. Have you ever applied eyeliner only to accidentally touch the pencil to your eye?
If this ever happens with your contacts in, take them out right away (after washing your hands!). Clean the lens with solution, then reinsert it in your eye. To avoid this altogether, make it a habit to do your makeup first. then put in your contacts.
4. Don’t Let Sweat and Sunscreen Run Into Your Eyes
Makeup isn’t the only thing that might sneak into your eyes. If you like to go for outdoor runs or spend a lot of time tanning in the sun, you have to be careful about sweat and sunscreen getting into your eyes.
This poses the same dangers that makeup on a contact could. It may create an infection or irritation in your eye that will need medical treatment to heal.
Prevent this from occurring by putting your hair up, wearing a sweatband, and avoiding sunscreen application near your eyes. You can also choose cooler times, such as nighttime, to exercise so you won’t sweat as much. If you exercise at night, you won’t need to put on sunscreen either!
5. Don’t Get in Water With Lenses On
Another thing that can’t touch your eyes is water. Don’t ever go swimming with your contacts in. It doesn’t matter if you’re in the ocean, a lake, or a freshwater spring. There are all kinds of bacteria in the water that can damage your lenses and eyes.
If you think swimming pools are free of organisms that would love to inhabit your eyes, think again. Saltwater or chlorinated pools cannot kill off all organisms. So those are just as bad for your eyes as natural pools. Chlorine can also affect your contacts in ways that could only be fixed by replacing them.
When in water, there’s a chance that bacteria grab onto your contacts and stay there to multiply. This then affects your eyes and can compromise how clean your contact case is, too. All you have to do to avoid this, though, is keep your lenses away from water.
If you go swimming, simply leave your lenses in the change room or wear tight fitting goggles. If you’re showering, put your contacts on when you’re done.
6. Don’t Keep Lenses on Irritated Eyes
Keep in mind your eyes may become irritated as a result of things like allergens in the air or dryness. If that’s the case, you need to take your contacts out ASAP.
Leaving them on irritated eyes can only cause more damage. It’s extremely uncomfortable and may result in long-term issues if you’re not careful.
Whether or not your contacts are the cause of the irritation, removing them will give your eyes the break they need to help them recover.
7. Don’t Forget to Give Your Eyes a Break
Speaking of breaks, that brings us to our next point.
Say you have a long day where you wake up before the sun rises and you don’t get home until late at night. It’s better to switch between your contacts and glasses half way through your long day than to depend on the contacts till you get home. Your eyes need to breathe. This is especially true if you have a tendency to get irritated eyes.
If they are red, dry, or itchy, this could be a sign you need to take your contacts out and give your eyes a chance to breathe. It’s incredibly important you do this throughout the day and every night.
8. Don’t Fall Asleep With Your Contacts On
This point is the major reason why eye doctors advise their patients to always take their contacts out before falling asleep. Sleeping with your contacts on can dry out your eyes and cause long-term damage to your vision.
It can also compromise the quality of your lenses, but that’s the least of your problems in comparison to your eye health.
With contacts on your eyes all night, the buildup of proteins and lipids on your lenses can make it very uncomfortable for your eyes. Not to mention that it provides a wonderful breeding ground for bacteria to create an infection.
9. Don’t Expose Your Lens Case to Heat
Whether you’re taking your contacts out during the day or just before you go to bed, you have to be mindful of where you put the case. Don’t leave your contacts case in your bag when you’re at the beach, and do your best not to leave it in your car, wherever you go.
Exposure to heat can dry your contacts out and it may compromise their quality, too. Other good practices for the case include daily cleaning and air drying. This helps to remove any buildup of bacteria.
10. Don’t Wear Lenses Without Cleaning Them
The final mistake to avoid when wearing contacts is putting them in without cleaning them. Always use fresh solution when putting your contacts back in their case and when you’re about to put them on as well.
Regular cleaning may seem like a hassle, but it’s the best way to avoid an infection or irritation. A few minutes spent every day will go a long way in regards to your eye health and quality of your vision.
Become a Pro at Wearing Contacts
It’s one thing to read about the mistakes to avoid when wearing contacts, and another to understand what you need to do to keep them in good shape.
Focus on everything you can do right instead of what you may possibly do wrong if you want the best results. Become a pro at putting in contact lenses by following some of our expert tips.
Can a contact lens get lost behind my eye?
By Gary Heiting, OD
Usually when someone asks, “Can contacts get lost in your eye?” they are wondering if it’s possible for a contact lens to become dislodged from the front of the eye and get lost or trapped behind the eye.
Here’s good news: That’s impossible.
The inner surface of the eyelids has a thin, moist lining called the conjunctiva. At the back of the eyelids, the conjunctiva folds back and becomes the outer covering of the white part of the eyeball.
The continuous nature of the conjunctiva from the eyelids to the eyeball makes it impossible for anything to get behind the eye and become trapped there.
What To Do If It Seems Like One Of Your Contacts Is Lost In Your Eye
Sometimes, if you rub your eyes or get bumped in the eye when wearing a soft contact lens, the lens might fold in half and dislodge from the cornea. The folded lens might get stuck under your upper eyelid so that it seems to have disappeared.
Usually if this happens, you will get the feeling that something is in your eye. Eye doctors call this feeling a “foreign body sensation.”
If this occurs, you can usually find the lens by adding a few contact lens rewetting drops to your eye and then gently massaging your eyelid with your eye closed. In most cases, the folded lens will move to a position on your eye where you can see it and remove it.
If the lens remains folded in half, soak it in contact lens solution for a few seconds, then gently rub the lens to return it to its original shape.
If you can’t find your “lost” lens with this technique, try to gently turn your upper eyelid inside out. (It’s really not as gross as it sounds.)
The best way to do this is to place a Q-Tip horizontally over the outside of your lid. Then, while looking down, grab hold of your eyelashes, gently pull the lid down and quickly evert (flip inside out) the lid by folding it over the Q-Tip.
Keep looking down and tilt your head back. With your other eye open, you should be able to see the folded lens. Gently move the contact lens with your everted eyelid until it moves onto your eye so you can remove it.
If you cannot remove the lens from your eye with either of these methods, ask someone to help you, or call your eye doctor for assistance.
But don’t worry: The lens won’t get trapped behind your eye or completely lost in your eye. That’s impossible.
Page updated August 2017
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Gary Heiting, OD
Gary Heiting, OD, is a former senior editor of AllAboutVision.com. Dr. Heiting has more than 30 years of experience as an eye care provider, health educator and consultant to the eyewear … read more
When you sleep in contact lenses, you’re reducing the amount of oxygen that gets to your eyes, Dr. Fogt says. That can lead to eye infections like keratitis. It can also bring about or exacerbate symptoms of dry eye. This condition happens when you don’t have sufficient tears to lubricate your eyes, and it can lead to redness, stinging, burning, scratchiness, sensitivity to light, and a feeling that something’s in your eyes, among other issues. According to the Mayo Clinic, contact lens wearers are more at risk of the condition in general, and sleeping in your lenses can just compound the problem.
Also, depending on the type you wear, leaving your contacts in overnight could mean you’re not cleaning them regularly, Corinne Casey, O.D., an optometrist with Katzen Eye Group, tells SELF. Allergens, various microorganisms, and protein deposits from your tear film all build up on the surfaces of your lenses during the day, Dr. Casey explains. If you have reusable contact lenses that your doctor says need to be cleaned every night, following those instructions is an important part of preventing problems.
Still, life happens. If you forget to take your contact lenses out before bed, you should remove them as soon as you wake up, Beeran Meghpara, M.D., an eye surgeon at Wills Eye Hospital, tells SELF. If they seem a little stuck in there (and they probably will), give your eyes a good rinse with sterile contact solution, close them, and rub your eyelids very gently before trying again, Dr. Meghpara says.
Once your contacts are out, it’s a good idea to wear your glasses for a few hours afterwards to let your eyes breathe, he says. And, of course, if you’re struggling to get the lenses out or you’re experiencing pain, sensitivity to light, discharge, or swelling, call your eye doctor right away so they can remove the lenses and check for infection.
5. You don’t replace your lenses as often as you should.
Every type of contact lens is different, but the AOA specifically says that you should always follow the recommended replacement schedule outlined by your doctor. (The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates contact lenses and dictates how long you can safely wear each type of lens, so these guidelines are legit.)
Contacts aren’t cheap, so it’s no wonder why you’d want to get a little more bang for your buck by waiting to change them out. But using them for too long allows even more microorganisms, allergens, and protein deposits to build up and potentially cause inflammation, irritation, or infection. While cleaning your lenses as prescribed helps, that won’t necessarily get everything off, Dr. Casey says, so regularly swapping them out is key.
By the way, you should follow the replacement instructions no matter how often you actually wear your contacts during that time period, Dr. Fogt says. If you’re supposed to use a new set of contact lenses each month, do that even if you didn’t wear your contacts every day. Same goes for daily disposables—even if you didn’t actually wear them for the entire day, once you’ve used them, you should toss them.
6. You just top off the contact lens solution in your case instead of starting fresh.
Like the other tips here, this is all about keeping your contact lenses clean, Dr. Fogt says. While soaking your contacts in a solution-filled case can remove possible irritants from your lenses, that stuff can then stick around in the solution itself, Dr. Fogt says. That’s why the FDA recommends using fresh solution every time you’re cleaning and storing your lenses.
7. You don’t clean your contact case after every use, and you certainly aren’t cracking open a new one every every three months.
To truly get an A+ when it comes to caring for your contacts, you should be rinsing your case with sterile solution and letting it dry after every single use. Even then, it’s still not a sterile environment. To further reduce your risk of winding up with eye issues, the FDA says you should replace your contact case at least every three months, or however often your eye doctor tells you.
Even with the best contact lens hygiene in the world, you might still deal with eye issues that warrant a trip to the doctor. If you experience a ton of dryness, redness, pain, discharge, blurry vision, or anything else that makes your vision worse instead of better, Dr. Casey recommends you stop wearing your contacts and call your eye doctor right away. Getting into that exam room can help them figure out if you need a new type of contact lens, have an eye infection that needs treatment, or have another eye problem that needs attention.
- 6 Mistakes You’re Making With Your Eyes
- 5 Ways to Deal With Dry, Itchy Eyes
- 6 Simple Ways to Take Better Care of Your Eyes
12 Things You Should Never Do With Your Daily Contacts
If you wear daily contacts, you may know the basics of how to care for them. But do you know what you should never do with your daily contacts?
Millions of people across the world wear contacts. If you’ve been wearing yours for a while, you likely do the same things with your contacts every day out of habit. But you could be making some serious mistakes with your daily contacts if you aren’t careful.
Wearing contact lenses properly is crucial for protecting your vision. Let us give you the rundown on what you should never do with your daily contacts.
1. Never Handle Contacts Without Washing Your Hands
Do you always wash your hands before touching your contacts? If not, you should. When you touch your contacts with dirty hands, you transfer bacteria to your lenses. Bacteria doesn’t stay in one place. They move around, so they’ll get all over the lens and your eye after you touch it just once. Washing your hands before doing anything with your contacts will prevent bacterial infection.
2. Never Reuse Old Cleaning Solution
Contact lens solution works well to disinfect and clean your lenses. Even if you wear daily contacts, you should keep some solution on hand. You may choose to remove your daily contacts for your eyes to rest, or to take a shower. You must disinfect your contacts in a fresh solution before replacing them. But you should never reuse the solution from the initial application of your contacts. That old solution has given any bacteria enough time to grow and multiply. If the bacteria gets on your contacts and then into your eyes, you could get a serious infection.
3. Never Reuse Your Contacts
Daily contacts are called ‘daily’ for a reason. They aren’t meant for many days of use. Once the day is over, you must throw away your contacts. Don’t try to reuse them!
Daily contacts are thinner and more fragile than other lenses. They also do not hold moisture very well. This makes them perfect for single use. If you try to reuse them, then your eyes can become dry and irritated.
4. Never Put a Dropped Contact Back in Your Eye
The beauty of daily lenses is that each pair is inexpensive. If you drop one in the sink or on the ground and you are lucky enough to find it, don’t put it back in your eye. You won’t be saving much money if you do. The health risks of using a contaminated lens are too serious to make it worthwhile.
5. Never Use Aerosol Sprays Around Lenses
If you’re going to use aerosol sprays, (such as hairspray), then make sure to close your eyes first. These sprays can get on your lenses and leave a film that will irritate the eyes and make it harder for you to see.
6. Never Put Contacts in Your Mouth
Sometimes it may be tempting to use your mouth to re-wet a pair of daily contacts. But, your mouth contains tons of bacteria, so this is never safe. You can get an infection in your eye from using lenses that have been in your mouth. You should always use your prescribed eye drops to moisturize your contacts.
7. Never Wear Your Lenses Too Much
Wearing your lenses too long can damage your eyes – even if they’re daily contacts. You should have a schedule that allows you to take out the contacts and let your eyes rest. You can also wear glasses for at least one or two days each week.
If your eyes aren’t getting enough oxygen, the corneas might get swollen. This can lead to corneal abrasion, and even infection if bacteria enters the eyes.
Your eyes need to rest, just like any other body part. Give them a break sometimes.
8. Never Sleep in Your Contacts
Just as wearing your contacts too long can lead to problems, so can sleeping in them. If you sleep with your contacts overnight, or take a nap in them, you may experience eye irritation. This may also mean your eyes can get swollen, which is something that you should avoid. If the irritation persists after removing your lenses, visit an eye care professional.
9. Never Get Makeup on Your Contacts
Sometimes, you can’t help getting a little smudge of eyeliner or mascara on one of your lenses. But it’s important that you remove the lens and clean it off right away to avoid problems. If it’s too dirty, then replace the lens altogether.
10. Never Wear Contacts When Your Eyes Are Irritated
If you have irritated eyes, then you shouldn’t wear your contacts. Your eyes are experiencing irritation for a reason. It could be that you have a damaged contact, or an eye infection.
If your body feels like it’s rejecting your contacts, go ahead and take them out. You can replace them with a fresh pair after your eyes feel better.
11. Never Expose Your Contacts to Water
It can be tempting to swim, shower, or do other water activities with your contacts in. Yet any source of water may contain bacteria that can wreak havoc in your eyes before you realize it.
Some diseases contracted from water can cause temporary vision loss or permanent blindness. If you must get in the water with your contacts, then you should also wear a pair of waterproof goggles. After water exposure, you must remove and clean your contacts before replacing them. This “water vigilance” also includes exposure to tap water. It may be safe to drink, but it doesn’t belong on your contacts!
12. Never Rub Your Eyes
Rubbing your eyes with or without contacts in them can lead to long-term eye conditions. You can end up with blurry vision, and you might even damage your cornea. Instead you should buy anti-itch eye-drops to relieve any discomfort. This advice applies both to daily contacts and contacts meant for multiple use.
We have explored the list of things that you should never do with your daily contacts. The good thing is that if you ever make a mistake, then you can discard the affected lens. Daily contacts are a convenient alternative that also saves you money. Please visit our blog to learn more about caring for your eyes and lenses and maintaining perfect vision.
Things You Only Know If you Wear Contact Lenses Every Day
My contact lenses and I have a complicated relationship.
Some mornings they glide on to my eyeball and feel great, others it takes 10 attempts, a lot of swearing and an irrational hatred of the tiny packets that are so tricky to open without exploding cleansing fluid all down my outfit.
Despite their tricky ways and the many fun ways they find to ruin my morning, I cannot give them up or go back to wearing glasses all the time, but that doesn’t mean I don’t hate them occasionally. Like I said, it’s complicated.
There’s nothing quite like the horror of pinching your own eyeball
In the first awkward stages of learning how to put them in things are bound to go wrong. My first attempt involved being watched by a stern optometrist and getting so nervous that I scratched my cornea, with sharp nails, shrieked and then cried. Not going to lie, it hurt like a bitch.
I got a disapproving look and an eye patch because my pathetic attempt left my eye so red and watery that I couldn’t see for three days. Brilliant. When I did get the hang of them it was the proudest day and I told everyone that I’d done it. Unsurprisingly very few people actually cared.
Things get stuck on your eye and you won’t notice
Midway through a sentence people will look at you in horror and point out that you have a massive glob of mascara/an eyelash/general grime on your eyeball and will freak out that you haven’t noticed. You feel a bit baddass knowing that it would reduce them to a teary mess if the tables were turned, but then you remember that it’s bloody annoying to get anything off your tiny, see-through lens without losing it.
You are so used to touching your eye it’s no longer remotely gross
The amusement of someone massively freaking out when you touch your eye never fades. You have become so used to it that it’s like brushing your teeth, but people will shriek or turn away because they can’t bear it. Again, proving that contact lens wearers are tougher(ish).
Fake nails are absolute nightmares
So you’ve finally nailed (see what I did there?) putting in contacts and taking them out, so you’re feeling so smug that you decide to get a manicure because you’re confident that you can still manage it.
Alas, that is not the case and you are sent straight back to the early stages of poking your eye, tearing straight through the lens and generally failing. Even when you do manage it, you still have the lingering trauma of the first attempts and the whole thing becomes terrifying.
People assume you suddenly have super powers
‘Oh, you’re wearing your contact lenses, please can you read that sign that’s like 2 miles away.’ Well actually no, no I can’t. I bought contact lenses not developed laser vision.
Wearing glasses feels bizzare
Presumably you’ve been wearing glasses for a few years or even most of your life before you opt for lenses but once you go there you can never go back. They suddenly feel weirdly heavy on your face, you lose your killer peripheral vision and you have to clean them far too often because the slightest smudge now bothers you.
Dried-up, crusty old lenses stay in your carpet forever
If you happen to wear daily lenses then you’re far more likely to drop and lose the flimsy buggers everywhere. After spending half an hour desperately looking for it you will give up and admit defeat before feeling the familiar little crunch on bare feet hours later – and it’s gross.
Falling asleep with them in is a nightmare
Waking up to find your eyes so dry that you have to blink a thousand times, splash them with water while you’re desperately trying to take the lenses out, even though they feel like they’ve been superglued to your eyeballs, is one of the more unpleasant ways to start your day.
Despite this, you’ll never learn, and will do this far too often and hate yourself each time.
Horror stories terrify you
‘One time, the contact lens went to the back of my eyeball and I had to go to A&E to get them washed out.’ STOP TELLING ME STORIES LIKE THIS. Until it happens to me I don’t want to know because when you tell me I worry every time I blink for like an hour, so don’t be that guy and keep your cautionary tales to yourself.
Despite the drawbacks, you’re hooked for life
They might be a complete nuisance every now and then but it’s too late to give them up. Once they’re in, you rarely even notice they’re there so you can pretend you were born with 20/20 vision. Basically, once you’ve fallen in love with them you’ll never go back.
Like this? You might also be interested in:
Here’s A Cautionary Tale To Remind You To Take Your Contact Lenses Out Every Night
Here’s A Few New Glasses Brands That Will Make You Wish You Wore Specs
Nine Of The Sassiest Pairs Of Sunglasses For Under £9
This article originally appeared on The Debrief.
Can Daily Contacts Be Worn More Than Once? (What Doctors Say)
Table of Contents
- Safety of Using Daily Contacts
- Following Recommended Contact Replacement
Of the nearly 50 million Americans who wear contact lenses, the American Optometric Association (AOA) reports that close to half of the adults wearing them use them for longer than the recommended length of time. Contacts need to be replaced at regular intervals as indicated by your doctor and the manufacturer. (Learn More)
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) explains that there are several types of contacts, and different forms of daily use contacts may be approved for varying lengths of time. A daily use contact is one that is taken out each night. There are two main forms of daily use contacts: daily disposable and daily reusable contacts that are on a specific replacement schedule.
Daily disposable contacts are not meant to be reused. They are to be discarded each night and replaced with brand new ones the next day. Daily reusable contacts may be taken out each night, cleaned and disinfected, and then reused the next day. These contacts have a specific replacement schedule as outlined by the manufacturer and explained by your doctor. (Learn More) Some may need to be replaced weekly, while others may be reusable for up to 30 days.
Wearing daily contacts more often than recommended can greatly increase the risk for eye infection and other eye-related issues. (Learn More) It is important to follow your doctor’s instructions when replacing and reusing contacts in order to maintain your eye health.
The Safety of Using Daily Contacts More Frequently
Daily use contacts are designed to be taken out each night and not worn overnight. Some daily use contacts are meant to be discarded after each use (daily disposable contacts), while others can be reused the next day after cleaning and disinfecting them (daily reusable or replacement schedule contacts).
The FDA does not approve multi-day use of daily disposable contacts, as these are meant to only be worn once to prevent eye infections. They are not designed for multiple uses. Daily disposable contacts are thinner than other types of contact lenses and therefore will not hold up well for reuse.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) publishes that it is important to follow your doctor’s recommended replacement schedule for daily use reusable contacts, and daily use contacts should never be worn overnight. Daily reusable contacts may be rigid gas-permeable (RGP) and be usable for up to a year with proper care, or they may be soft plastic contact lenses that need to be replaced on a specific schedule — usually every week or month, depending on the type and brand.
Replacing daily contacts can add up financially. It can be tempting to use them for longer than recommended, but doctors advise against this practice. It can lead to many potential problems, which ultimately cost you more money in the long run.
The Importance of Following Recommended Contact Replacement Schedules
The Guardian publishes that there are close to 1 million doctor visits related to eye infections caused by contact lenses. Many of these visits are due to improper hygiene, such as not washing your hands prior to handling your contacts. A lot of these visits are also due to using daily wear contacts for longer, or more often, than they are intended to be worn.
Manufacturers and doctors set up a contact replacement schedule on purpose, to promote eye health and keep you as safe as possible. Contacts are an effective vision replacement tool and safe when used as directed. When they are used outside of the directed parameters, problems can develop.
As reported in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ-JAMC), people who wore contacts beyond their recommended shelf-life experienced far more eye-related issues than those who stuck to the doctor-recommended replacement schedule. While you may get lucky and not experience a problem right away, the first problem you do experience could be serious. The more you reuse them, the more at risk you put yourself for a significant issue.
Risks of reusing daily contacts beyond their recommended schedule include:
- Eye infection.
- Dry eyes.
- Corneal ulceration and scarring.
- Visual impairment and possible blindness.
The journal of the American Academy of Optometry, Optometry and Vision Science, published a study where they looked at daily disposable contact lenses that were saved after one use and stored overnight. The findings showed that 95 percent of users had at least one pair (out of five in the span of a month) of lenses that were contaminated with bacteria such as staphylococci. This study proves that overnight storage of daily use contact lenses can lead to a buildup of bacteria; if placed back in the eye, the bacteria can lead to serious eye infections.
Daily disposable contacts don’t allow oxygen to travel through to the eye or hold moisture well. This can lead to extreme dry eyes, corneal scarring, and therefore impaired vision, which may even lead to the need for a corneal transplant.
One of the most significant potential risks for eye infections caused by improper contact lens use is keratitis, which is a bacterial infection that affects the cornea. The cornea is the clear covering in the front of the eye. A corneal infection, keratitis, can cause your eyes to become red and irritated, weep, and hurt. It can lead to blurred vision, sensitivity to light, and even result in blindness in serious cases. Mayo Clinic publishes that overuse of contact lenses, or using them more often or beyond the recommended length of time, can cause infectious keratitis.
Daily use contacts can be some of the safest types of contacts, as they are taken out each night to allow proper oxygen flow to the eyes. Daily disposable contacts can reduce the risk for infection greatly by decreasing the potential for bacterial buildup. Daily disposable contacts do not need to be cleaned or disinfected, which can make them more convenient as well.
Most issues that can arise from contact lenses generally stem from improper hygiene or use. When using contact lenses, follow your doctor’s directions on how often to change and replace them. Clean them properly and change the disinfecting fluid as directed when dealing with reusable daily contacts. Wash your hands before touching the contacts or your eyes, and dispose of the contacts on time.
Resist the urge to stretch use of your contacts beyond their set schedules. This will ensure optimal eye health.
Facts and Stats. (August 2017). American Optometric Association.
Types of Contact Lenses. (January 2018). U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
How to Take Care of Contact Lenses. (September 2018). American Academy of Ophthalmology.
How Safe are Contact Lenses? (November 2014). The Guardian.
Calculating Risk in Use of Disposable Contacts. (April 2012). CMAJ-JAMC.
Contamination Risk of Reusing Daily Disposable Contact Lenses. (December 2011). Optometry and Vision Science.
Keratitis. (November 2018). Mayo Clinic.