Many people choose contact lenses because they improve your vision without altering your appearance the way glasses might. Contacts are also often a better solution for athletes and people who exercise regularly. Wearing contacts means you don’t have to worry about your glasses falling off while you’re out for a morning run, lifting weights at the gym, or playing basketball with your buddies. Most of the time, contacts are very safe, but if you don’t use them correctly, you risk causing serious damage to your eyes and your health—here’s what you should know.
Most of the problems associated with wearing contacts are the result of little mistakes. Some of the most common mistakes people make include:
Most of the mistakes listed above are little things, but these little mistakes can have big consequences.
Using your contacts incorrectly can deprive your eyes of oxygen, which leads to serious problems, and potential vision loss. Most modern contact lenses are designed to be porous, so that oxygen can get through the contacts and reach your eyes. Your eyes need oxygen to stay healthy, just like the rest of your body. If you leave your contacts in for too long, or don’t clean them properly, the contacts will collect dust and other pollutants. When this happens, oxygen can no longer get through the contact lens to your eye, and bacteria cannot get out. Without oxygen, the cells on the cornea become swollen and damaged, and bacteria gets trapped in your eyes. If nothing is done, the bacteria can eventually get into the cornea, and then into the rest of the eye causing permanent vision loss.
Wearing your contacts too long, or wearing contacts that haven’t been cleaned properly, can also lead to eye infections, including keratitis (which is infection of the cornea). Eye infections cause pain, swelling, scaring that interferes with vision, and in severe cases, blindness. Most of these problems can be avoided simply by using your contacts properly. For example, leaving your contacts in overnight drastically increases your risk for keratitis.
You don’t have to give up wearing contacts to avoid eye infections or vision loss—you just have to use your contacts properly. Use the following tips to avoid problems.
Contacts improve your vision and make physical activity more convenient—just be sure you aren’t making any costly mistakes that could harm your eyes. For more information about the importance of vision health, visit vspdirect.com or contact your local optometrist.