Risks of over wearing contact lenses - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Risks of over wearing contact lenses

Many contact lens wearers are guilty of over wearing their contacts.

"There's a reason those FDA standards are there. If they're daily disposables, they're supposed to be disposed of every day. That's going to be what's healthiest for the eye."

Optometrist, Madison Wall-Hayes says over wearing contacts can actually deprive your eyes of the oxygen they need to help you see.

"Reducing the amount of oxygen that gets to the cornea, the cornea has to get the oxygen from the air and the blood vessels from the eyelid. A little bit of impediment is okay, with wearing your contacts as they are supposed to. If you wear them too long or sleep in them, you're dramatically reducing the amount of oxygen that gets to the eye that leads to infections, for new blood vessel growth on the cornea, for lots of problems."

Wall-Hayes says there are a number of infections you can contract if you choose to over wear and sleep in your contacts.

"Giant conjunctivitis; our contact lenses are like sponges, so they soak up anything in our tears and they get stuck to our lenses. Our lids have to blink over that every day and it can create bumps under the eyelid which sets up an infection. The second thing is corneal hypoxia; we talked about the cornea not getting enough oxygen. The cornea is clear for a reason; when we don't get enough oxygen, the brain thinks, "I'm going to send more blood vessels to send more oxygen", but blood vessels are not clear so it can damage our vision. The third thing is corneal ulcers; it's where we get an abrasion on the skin of the cornea and sets up an infection on the cornea."

Wall-Hayes says the best way to avoid infection is to wear your contacts exactly how the FDA instructs you wear them. 

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