Over the past decade we have seen a significant increase in the number of patients who don’t wear or care for their lenses properly. Contact lenses should be regarded with the same caution you would use for prescription drugs. Unfortunately, some patients assume that once they are fit with contacts, they can wear them as often and for as long as they wish. However, over time eyes go through gradual changes in size, shape, and physiological requirements, so the ‘good fit’ of your lenses and health of your cornea can change.
Many problems that result from over-wearing contact lenses don’t produce immediate symptoms; so many patients may not realize the problems they are creating. When a contact lens is on the eye too long, it reduces the amount of oxygen the eye is receiving. The eye may react by becoming red, and the corneal tissue can change shape and swell, ultimately reducing comfort and clarity of vision. In addition, if the lens is not properly cleaned, the lens can become contaminated with bacteria or viruses and infect the eye. Proper cleaning and care is essential in avoiding these potential problems.
Healthy corneas and the ability to wear contact lenses for many years are directly related to how well patients care for their contact lenses and eyes.