Overwearing contact lenses can lead to some pretty serious eye health issues. Patients may have been habitually wearing contact lenses longer than their intended use (wearing a daily lens for several days, or weeks, or wearing a monthly lens for several months or even years, for example) without complication and don’t view this behavior as risky or dangerous.
By overwearing contact lenses patients are opening themselves up to the risk of severe eye infections, corneal damage, and vision loss. Other complications can include Corneal Neovascularization which occurs when the oxygen flow to the eye is so impaired that the eye begins to grow new blood vessels OVER the contact lens to pull in more oxygen, Giant Papillary Conjunctivitus which is acute allergic inflammation of the eyelid due to protein buildup, and Bacterial Ulcers caused by lack of oxygen flow to the cornea that can leave permanent scarring on the eye.
Additionally, we find that many of the patients who overwear their contact lenses are no longer being corrected to 20/20 vision – sometimes being as reduced as 20/50 or even greater!
Following your prescribed replacement schedule for your contact lenses, as well as practicing proper visual hygiene will greatly reduce your risks of infection and complications. If you find that your contact lenses are causing discomfort, redness, or pain make sure to take out the lenses as soon as possible and consult your eye care professional.
You only get two corneas in a lifetime. Take care of them.