Discover the proper techniques for using and maintaining contact lenses to ensure both the cleanliness of the contacts and the overall health of your eyes.
Overusing contact lenses is becoming more and more prevalent and can have severe consequences for your eyes. This habit poses a significant risk of causing serious damage to your eyes and can lead to major eye and vision problems in the long run. Dr. Troy Wagner from Child & Family Eye Care in The Woodlands, Texas, emphasizes the importance of proper care and usage of contact lenses. While they can enhance your appearance and provide excellent vision, it is crucial to understand how to handle and wear them safely. By following the right practices, you can prevent this increasingly common and hazardous eye condition.
Similar to a person, your eyes need oxygen to function properly. Overwearing contact lenses can deprive them of this essential oxygen, leading to severe eye damage. Eye care professionals have established a guideline to determine excessive contact lens wear: If you keep your contact lenses in for less than 18 hours a week, you are considered to be overwearing them.
When your eyes are deprived of oxygen, they may resort to a process called neovascularization. This involves the growth of new blood vessels in areas of the eye that should remain clear and unobstructed for optimal vision. Not only does this significantly impair your ability to see, but it can also cause long-term and irreversible damage.
When aiming to minimize contact lens wear, having a spare pair of glasses can be extremely beneficial. Numerous studies have demonstrated that simply wearing glasses instead of contact lenses once or twice a week can significantly decrease the likelihood of experiencing symptoms associated with overusing contact lenses. By allowing your eyes to rest from the continuous strain imposed by frequent contact lens use, you can protect against the potential risks.
Even on days when you opt to wear your contact lenses, there are steps you can take to mitigate the risk of overuse. A simple approach is to delay putting in your contacts upon waking up in the morning. Instead, wear your glasses during your morning routine, and insert your contacts as the final step before heading out for the day. Likewise, making it a habit to remove your contacts as the initial part of your bedtime routine can be highly beneficial. By employing these two methods in combination, you can significantly decrease the chances of contact lens overuse without requiring significant conscious effort.
Sleeping with contact lenses is a major contributor to contact lens overuse and should be avoided at all costs. It is considered one of the riskiest and most damaging choices in terms of wearing contact lenses.
Wearing contact lenses overnight, or even during a short daytime nap, can deprive your eyes of vital oxygen and moisture, potentially leading to severe infections that threaten your vision. Additionally, it can cause a painful condition called corneal abrasion, which involves a scratch on the surface of the eye. Symptoms of corneal abrasion include eye pain, sensitivity to light, and excessive tearing. To safeguard your long-term eye health, it is crucial to remove your contact lenses, even for brief periods such as during a nap.
One of the most crucial aspects in preventing contact lens overuse is closely adhering to the replacement schedule recommended by your doctor. These timelines are specifically designed to protect your eyes from the potential risks associated with contact lens deterioration and the accumulation of calcium deposits over time. It is a common misconception that as long as contact lenses remain comfortable, there is no need to replace them.
Optometrists have been battling against this harmful belief for years. By the time discomfort arises, your contact lenses may have already caused damage to your eyes that could have long-term effects on your vision. Regardless of whether the motivation is to save money or due to oversight, wearing contact lenses beyond their designated replacement date is an extremely detrimental practice that can lead to serious consequences in the long run.
For any inquiries or additional tips, don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Troy Wagner today.