Just like a prescription from any doctor, contact lens prescriptions and directions should be followed accordingly and never abused. Improper maintenance, wearing expired prescription contacts, and over-wearing contact lenses past their recommended usage can all contribute to eye infections, diseases, and in severe cases, blindness.
It’s very important to pay attention to the expiration date and recommended use period on your contact lenses. If you are unsure of either of these, consult your eye doctor or the business that you purchased your contact lenses from. To display a better idea of the dangers of over-wearing contact lenses, here are a few examples of the pitfalls of contact lens abuse.
More commonly known as “pink eye,” conjunctivis is an eye infection which symptoms include eye itching, redness, increased lens awareness, discharge, and blurred vision. One of the many things that can cause it is protein buildup on the contact lens, resulting in an allergic reaction. Lenses that are worn past their recommended timeline can build up heavy deposits of protein, which can cause numerous problems besides allergic reaction.
Contact lens overuse can also lead to swelling of the cornea, called corneal edema. Corneal edema happens when fluid accumulation within the cornea creates swelling. The fluid accumulation can result from many catalysts, including lack of oxygen to the eye from contact overuse. Symptoms of corneal edema include blurred vision and seeing rainbows or halos around lights. This infection can be treated and cured by treatments and/or surgery.
Disposable contacts have an effective date for a reason: once past their expiration or recommended usage date, the lens start to deteriorate and are no longer suitable for daily use. Overused contacts can let in small particles of dust or dirt, which comes between the contact and the eye. When this happens, the particles can scratch the surface of the eye and create corneal abrasion. When this abrasion is infected, it can cause a corneal ulcer.
A corneal ulcer is one of the most severe types of eye damage that can result from contact lens overuse. Symptoms include eye redness, pain, discharge, blurry vision, and swollen eyelids. Its long-term effects, if untreated, include corneal scarring and corneal perforation. If you think you might have a corneal ulcer, remove your contact lens immediately and consult a physician.