Wearing contact lenses for the first time may seem like a daunting task, but once you get the hang of it, you won’t feel like taking them off. When you wear contact lenses and realise that the world seems clearer (without wearing a pair of eyeglasses) and you look beautiful, you’d obviously want to wear them all day long. However, wearing lenses for too long may not be good for your eyes. Wearing contact lenses is one thing but wearing them for too long can be dangerous for your eyes.
8 Harmful Effects of Wearing Contact Lenses for Too Long
Some of the harmful effects of wearing contact lenses for too long include:
1. Your Eyes May Not Receive Enough Oxygen
Oxygen is crucial for your eyes. As contact lenses sit directly on your eyes and cover the entire cornea, they block the oxygen from reaching your eyes. Hence, wearing contacts for long hours at a stretch can cut down the oxygen supply to your eyes.
2. You May Have Dry Eyes
Dry eye syndrome is a phenomenon when eyes turn red and itchy. As a result, the cornea gets scarred in the process. Contact lenses absorb most of the tears to keep themselves soft and thus you may have dry eyes. You can avoid this by not wearing your contacts all the time or taking frequent breaks and using eye drops to keep your cornea lubricated.
3. Allergies and Eye Infections
If you wear contact lenses for too long, you may get eye infections or allergies in the long run. The reason behind infections is corneal abrasion. If you have dry eyes or if the contact lenses do not sit properly on the surface of your eyes, it may lead to corneal abrasion.
4. Corneal Ulcer
When bacteria, fungus, and virus appear on your cornea and are left untreated, these may develop into a corneal ulcer. This situation may even lead to permanent blindness in extreme cases.
If your eyelids start drooling and you find it hard to open them, you may have ptosis. Sometimes the fluid may also move into the tissues and retract the lid, especially when the lens is about to be removed.
6. Interact with Contraceptives and Medications
Concurrent use of birth control pills and contact lenses can result in dry eyes and irritation. To be more specific, it may trigger a reaction in the tear film of the surface of your eyes and lead to a burning sensation. If you are on birth control pills, avoid wearing contact lenses.
7. Diminished Corneal Reflex
Corneal reflux is our brain’s way of telling the eyelids to shut down whenever there’s some incoming danger. For example, like flying objects, a gust of wind, or anything that may damage the eyes. Wearing contact lenses weakens this reflex which means your eyelids won’t shut down quickly enough, thus posing a danger during specific situations.
8. Your Eyes May Hurt
Eye pain is another problem faced by people who use contact lenses. Wearing contact lenses for too long can cut down the supply of oxygen to your eyes. As a result, your eyes may hurt or you may have a blurred vision. Sometimes, people also end up losing their eyesight.
Tips to Take Care of Your Eyes When You Use Contact Lenses Regularly
Here are some tips you can follow to keep your eyes protected:
- Never wear your contact lens 24X7 and always take them off before going to bed.
- To make sure you’re wearing them correctly, place the lens on your fingertips and notice if it forms a “U” shape. It there are any edges flaring out other than this shape and it doesn’t look like a cup, it’s inside out. Make sure you place them right.
- Make sure you wash your hands well before you touch your contact lenses. Avoid applying lotions which contain lanolin and moisturizing agents before touching your lenses. Oily and scented soaps are also a no since particles from these may end up sticking to the surface of your lens.
- Make sure your fingernails are cut and not too long. This is to prevent accidental scratching or damaging your contacts when you put them on.
- Get your eyes checked from time to time and check whether you need to replace your lenses.
- Opt for silicone hydrogel lenses as these don’t totally cut off the oxygen supply to the eyes and are better than traditional soft contact lenses.
- If you prefer wearing contact lenses daily, make sure you lubricate the cornea with an eyedrop whenever you take them off. This will prevent your eyes from getting dry.
- When you put on the lens, roll your eyes to make a circle then blink. This helps it easier for the lenses to settle and adapt to your cornea.
- After you wear the lenses, look in the mirror to check whether they are placed right. If not then remove and try again.
Worried about how to best make use of your contacts? Here are the answers below.
1. Is it Bad to Use Contact Lenses Daily?
It’s not bad to wear contact lenses every day. However, you should not wear them 24*7.
2. What will Happen if I Cry with Contact Lens?
In general, nothing will happen. The moisture from crying will travel across the surface of your lenses and that’s it. But make sure not to rub your eyes while crying since that’s dangerous and could potentially harm your cornea.
3. Can I Sleep Wearing Lens?
Sleeping with your contact lenses on is risky. It’ll cut off the oxygen supply to your eyes and when you wake up, you may feel sensitive to light.
Now you know what will happen to your eyes if you wear contact lenses for too long, so don’t. Just follow the above-mentioned tips and your eyes won’t have any trouble.