How Improper Contact Lens Care Can Harm Your Eyes

It’s very easy to get so comfortable in your contact lenses that you may fall asleep wearing them without even realizing it. Then, before you know it, you are wearing your contacts to bed a few nights a week. Did you know that this, along with not properly cleaning and caring for your lenses is actually considered contact lens abuse and can seriously damage your eyes?

What problems can arise from contact lens abuse?

Believe it or not, improper contact lens care and use is a major risk factor for infections of the cornea. When you sleep in your contact lenses, you’re reducing the oxygen flow to the eye. Even if you tell your doctor that you haven’t been sleeping in your lenses, they can still tell. Under magnification, your doctor can see swelling and little bumps on your cornea caused by the lack of oxygen.

If you let these little bumps called “endothelial microcysts” go on too long, your eyes may then be susceptible to infection and corneal ulcers.
Simply not taking the proper cleaning measures with your lenses can lead to some pretty nasty outcomes as well. When being fitted for your contact lenses, your optician likely explained how often you should replace your lenses but that advice can only go so far if you don’t take it. You need to make sure that you’re using the proper solution, cleaning your lenses daily and even taking care to clean your contact lens storage case. You’d be surprised at all the gunk and grime that not taking these simple measures can leave on your lenses and, as a result, on your eyes.

How do you know if something is wrong with your eyes or lenses?

We’ve said it before but we’ll say it again, you have to know and listen to your body. If your eyes, with or without your contact lenses, are red, itchy, burning or constantly feel as though something is in them and irritating them, it’s likely time to give your eyes a break and wear your backup eyeglasses.

It’s very important that you’re always honest with your doctor about how often you wear your contact lenses, the measures you take to care for them and whether or not you feel something could be wrong. It’s also very important that you follow your doctor’s instructions for wearing and caring for your contact lenses.

If you are interested in getting contact lenses, have questions about care or how to better take care of your eyes in general, anyone at Clarke EyeCare Center will be happy to help and answer your questions.

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