6 scary things that happen when you wear contact lenses for too long

Contact lenses are godsent for people who do not like the concept of wearing glasses but it does come at a cost.
contact lenses
It is best to not wear contact lenses in case of conjunctivitis. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Shreya Gupta Updated: 13 Oct 2023, 17:11 pm IST
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We understand that your days are really hectic and by the end of it all, you are utterly tired even to muster up enough energy to take off those contact lenses. Oh, you didn’t get time to take them off and slept off? Well, we’re here to tell you that you should never, ever do that again!

From eye irritation to eye infection and even blurred vision, wearing contact lenses for too long can affect your eyes very badly. If you are guilty of this and it has already become a habit, it is best that you change it right about now.

Even if you are wearing daily contacts, it is not very safe to leave them on for long hours or fall asleep wearing those. Just like sleeping with a full face of makeup can give you acne and damage your skin, contact lenses can harm your cornea and can create many complications.

These are the six potential dangers of wearing lenses for too long:

1. Conjunctivitis
Commonly known as pink eyes, wearing contact lenses for too long can cause inflammation of the conjunctiva causing conjunctivitis. If you’re noticing oozing, itchiness, and discomfort in your eyes, you might be suffering from conjunctivitis.

2. Eye pain
Wearing your contact lenses overnight, or taking a nap with them can cause corneal abrasions or scratches on your cornea, making your eyes pain. This condition arises because the lenses block hydration and oxygen to the cornea.

contact lenses
Those lenses can be very much fashionable, but wear them with caution. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

3. Keratitis
This condition is very similar to conjunctivitis but the only difference is that it causes internal damage to your eyes. This can also lead to partial vision loss in extreme cases.

If you are someone who sleeps with contacts on, you are more likely to develop this condition. So, do not wear contacts overnight for the sake of your eyes.

4. Red eyes
If you often have red eyes, it is a clear indication that your eyes are damaged. If the redness does not go away within a few days, it could be the result of overusing the contact lens. This is a severe condition and you should not take this lightly.

5. Corneal Neovascularization
Long hours of wearing contact lenses prevent your eyes from getting the fluids they need. It also restricts the supply of oxygen to your eyes. Given your eyes are not getting enough oxygen, the blood vessels surrounding the corneas try to adapt in an effort to increase the blood flow. This causes an overgrowth of blood vessels.

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This can lead to blurred vision, or in severe cases, even loss of sight. These extra blood vessels prevent light from travelling through the cornea which will ultimately cause partial or complete vision damage. Moreover, this doesn’t have any symptoms as such. So, apart from taking care of your eyes, you need regular doctor visits too.

Also, read: Regular eye check-ups today can prevent glaucoma in old-age: Study

6. Eye ulcers
If you’re too careless about cleaning your contacts before having to wear them for hours, you can get eye ulcers. These appear as white or greyish open sores on the cornea. They can be painful and can also cause blurred vision and blindness in some instances.

While many of the points mentioned above can seem minor and not worth worrying about to you, the long term effects can be serious. It can cause irreversible damage to your eyes and vision. So, it is important to take necessary precautions beforehand.

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About the Author

Finding nirvana in good food, Shreya also loves reading books and is a die-hard Potterhead. Confident and motivated she's fun to be with. Plus food. Always. ...Read More

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