Contact lenses, which are considered medical devices by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), can damage your eyes if used improperly. At ADV Vision Centers, we provide laser eye surgery and other vision correction treatments to avoid the harmful effects of contact lenses. While generally considered safe, they can, in some cases, harm your eyes.
Can Wearing Contacts Every Day Damage Your Eyes?
Not wearing and replacing them every day as prescribed, keeping contacts in for too long, and not cleaning them can contribute to eye damage. Contact lenses are more convenient than eyeglasses for many, but, in the long run, improper use can lead to issues such as:
- Oxygen Deprivation: Contact lenses reduce the amount of oxygen that reaches your eyes. It is not recommended to sleep with them. The longer you keep them in, the more you will diminish the oxygen supply to your eyes, which can lead to pain, blurred vision, and other problems.
- Dry Eyes: Since contact lenses absorb tears, prolonged use can lead to dry eye This can make your eyes red and itchy as well as lead to corneal scarring. You can avoid dry eyes by not wearing your contacts all the time, using lubricating eye drops, and taking frequent breaks.
- Infections: If a contact lens does not sit properly on the surface of the cornea and/or there are irregular edges, corneal abrasion can result. Lenses may also trap dirt, sand, and other particles that can damage the cornea. Abrasions can allow bacteria and viruses in and cause eye infections, decreased vision, and even contact lens blindness.
- Corneal Ulcer: An untreated bacterial, viral, fungal, or parasitic infection can lead to a corneal ulcer, which is caused by an open sore. An ulcer can cause permanent blindness; in this case, the only way to restore vision is usually a corneal transplant.
- Suppressed Corneal Reflex: The corneal reflex protects the eyes by forcing you to shut them if there’s danger, such as a flying object. Contact lenses can weaken this reflex. Therefore, your eyelids may not shut fast enough in a potentially dangerous situation.
- Ptosis: The eyelids can start drooping if contact lenses push into them, which can lead to scarring and contraction. Repeatedly stretching the lid when removing contact lenses can cause damage too. In severe cases, individuals may not be able to fully open the affected eye.
- Interaction with Medications: Wearing contact lenses and taking certain medications can lead to side effects. For example, wearers who use birth control pills may experience a burning sensation caused by a reaction in the tear film that covers the eyes.
Schedule Your Appointment Today
It’s not bad to wear contact lenses every day if you use them properly. However, there are other options. Advanced vision correction procedures are provided by ADV Vision Centers. We offer LASIK and other ophthalmological services based on the latest surgical technologies. Schedule your consultation with one of our experienced doctors, including Dr. Adam Abroms, MD, by calling ADV Vision Centers at 805-987-5300 today!