Among eye doctors and technicians, sleeping in contact lenses and caring for them improperly is actually called “contact lens abuse.” And it turns out eye professionals can usually tell if you’re an abuser, no matter what you say at your eye exam, because your cornea (the outermost surface of your eye) will actually look bad.
Here’s how it works:
Your cornea is one of the only places in your body that doesn’t get its much-needed oxygen from blood vessels. It gets it from the air instead. When you wear soft contact lenses, a limited amount of oxygen gets to your eye, which is fine until you close those eyes for prolonged periods of time. During sleep, between those two layers (your eyelid and the lens), no oxygen gets through at all. The doctor can tell if your cornea has been starved of oxygen by looking at it under magnification – swelling and little bumps called “endothelial microcysts” are just some of the symptoms they might find.
If these problems go on for too long, your eye will be at increased risk of eye infection and corneal ulcers (open sores on the cornea)
Aside from being quite painful, these conditions can even get serious enough to causepermanent damage and can even lead blindness to Not cleaning your contact lenses, or using the wrong solution (or tap water) to do so, can also lead to infection and ulcers. I will address all of these things in the rules below.
Contact lenses that don’t fit properly also present their own problems of discomfort and damage. Your eye has a unique curvature. One contact lens does not fit all eyes, which is why you need to always have a full fitting with a professional to find a brand and style that matches the shape of your eye most comfortably. Therefore:
Rule 1: Always have a professional involved.
Even if you don’t need prescription contact lenses, you might want them for cosmetic purposes. It could be crazy cat-eyes for Halloween, or maybe you just want to change your eye color for a day. What ever the reason or the event contacts are a medical device that by law require you to be fitted and we at Eyes on Brickell recommend you allow yourself an extra month before your costumed event and get a proper fitting from an eye doctor.
Rule 2: Don’t sleep in your contact lenses (regardless if they are designed for it.)
Forgetting to take out your contacts might seem awfully convenient especially because you can wake up and see and you dont have to deal with solutions etc… However, NO MATTER how much easier it seems Our doctors at Eyes on Brickell always recommend to all our patients never to sleep with your contacts. Take 5 seconds and save yourself from an infection! You simply can’t afford to let it become a permanent habit. If you find it impossible to remember no matter how hard you try (again, this was a problem I faced,) then you might need to give up on contact lenses entirely. Your eye health is more important than avoiding inconveniences. Ladies i hate to say this but would you sleep for days with a feminine hygiene product and not expect to get health complications? Disgusting thought right? So why would you ever do it with your contacts?
Rule 3: Care for your contact lenses properly.
If you’ve gotten a proper fitting, the technician or doctor has likely already explained the need for replacing your contact lenses at regular intervals (which vary depending on brand and type) and cleaning them daily. one of our contact lens experts, advises you to throw out your contact lens storage case at least every three months to prevent nasty things from growing there. Never use saline solution or any kind of water to store your lenses. You can use a no-rub solution to clean them, but Dr. Copty also advises you to use a gentle rub with your fingers as part of your daily care. Don’t ever reuse solution or “top it up” from your last use – always replace it completely with fresh solution.
Rule 4: If there are problems…
Take out your contact lenses immediately and make an appointment with your eye doctor. If you develop a red eye or itching, burning, swelling, or pain: don’t just wait for it to go away. An infection will only get worse with time. A corneal ulcer needs medical attention. Visit us online to schedule your next appointment at www.eyesonbrickell.com or calls us directly at 305-914-0294
LASTLY – NEVER OVER USE YOUR CONTACT LENSES AND FOLLOW PROPER WEARING SCHEDULES.
The following list is the wearing schedule for the the most popular brands.
Acuve Oasys and Acuve Oasys Astigmatism – 2 weeks
Bioinfinity and Bioinfinity Toric – 1 month
Air Optics – 1 month