Overuse of your contact lenses has the potential to seriously damage your eyes, and cause future eyesight problems and eye conditions. Dr. Shane Galan of Diamond Vision in Rockville Centre, “Contact lenses are a great opportunity to look and feel your best. But, they can also be very damaging to your vision if you don't know how to care for and use them properly. Learning just a few ways to prevent contact lens overuse can go a long way toward preventing this kind of damage.”
Spare the glasses, spoil the eyes…
The importance of keeping a spare pair of glasses handy should not be underestimated. Choosing your glasses over contacts just a few times a week can do a great deal to prevent damage by allowing your eyes to rest from the strain put on them by consistent contact lens wear.
Even on days when you choose to wear your contacts instead of your glasses, wear them for only part of the day. Don't put your contact lenses in straight out of bed. Instead, wear your glasses while preparing for the day, and put your contacts in as your very last step, allowing extra time without your contacts in without having to make a conscious effort to do so. Also, taking your contacts out a few hours before going to bed helps too. These and other methods can significantly reduce the chances of overusing your contacts.
Time your time out!
Also, keep track of how many hours per week you have your contact lenses out of your eyes. Coming in anywhere less than 18 hours in a week means you may be doing serious damage to your eyes. This is because your eyes require oxygen just like a person, and denying them the opportunity to breathe properly can cause the eye to attempt to supply oxygen in alternative ways by a process called neovascularization. In this process, new blood vessels grow into previously clear and unblocked parts of the eye, creating blockages in your vision and possibly causing serious harm. Your eyes also require proper hydration from your tears, which are specially formulated by your body to keep your eyes healthy and comfortable.
Contact time is NOT nap time!
Falling asleep with your contact lenses in is a major cause of contact lens overuse which is too often overlooked. Leaving your contacts in overnight, or even for a brief nap during the day, can deny the eyes essential oxygen and hydration, leading to potentially vision threatening conditions, as well as increasing the risk of a painful scratch on the surface of the eye called a corneal abrasion. It is very important to remove your contact lenses, even if you intend to take a nap for only an hour or two.
Daily wear means one day and monthly wear means one month
Be sure to replace your contact lenses according to the time line prescribed by your doctor. These time lines are established for a very specific reason and meant to protect you and your eyes. It is an unfortunately common and dangerous practice to try to extend the life of an individual pair of contacts further in an effort to save money, or simply through inattentiveness. Many people believe that as long as the contacts are comfortable, there is nothing wrong with the lenses. Optometrists in recent years have made extensive efforts to dispel this myth. The truth is that by the time your contacts are uncomfortable, serious damage may have already been done.
For any questions and further tips, feel free to contact our Rockville Centre optometrist, Dr. Galan today.