When Not to Wear Contact Lenses: Four Common Ways We Risk Eye Health

a girl demonstrating when not to wear contact lenses

An estimated 125 million people wear contact lenses in the world. In a new study released by the CDC, a reported 99 percent of those people engage in habits that risk the health of their eyes. While contact lenses provide many numerous benefits to a wearer’s eyesight, there are also many risks associated with the improper use of them. We have provided you with a list of when not to wear contact lenses that could potentially risk your eye health.

Sleeping in Contact Lenses

Sleeping in your contact lenses can reduce the amount of oxygen that is permitted to reach your eyes, causing dryness, irritation and possibly infections. If you accidentally sleep in your lenses, remove them immediately and clean them with the proper solution to wash away any dirt or bacteria. If your eyes feel sore or irritated, wear your glasses instead of your lenses and contact your optician immediately!

Swimming or Showering in Contact Lenses

Swimming or showering in your lenses can expose your eyes to a possible infection from a microorganism called acanthamoeba, which is found in most water sources. While typically harmless, the amoeba can survive by living off the natural bacteria in your eye, causing a harmful and painful infection that can lead to blindness. Make sure to remove your lenses before they come into contact with any type of water source.

Wearing Lengthening Mascaras

Wearing lengthening mascaras, while also wearing contacts, dramatically raises your risk of eye irritation and infections. Lengthening mascaras contain fibers that stick to the eyelashes, giving the illusion of longer lashes, which can often get stuck under the contact lens. These fibers can transmit bacteria from the eyelashes to the eye, where under the right conditions, it can flourish – resulting in an infection or ulcer to the cornea. Make sure to avoid mascaras that include the words ‘lengthening’ or ‘stretching’ in the name.

Sporting Cosmetic Lenses

Colored contact lenses that change the color of your eyes can have serious health risks if not worn properly. Since color lenses have increased pigmentation in the lens, there is a decrease in oxygen flow to the eye, which can cause infections if worn for too long. If you want to wear colored lenses, make sure to get a prescription from a licensed optician.

To avoid possibly damaging the health of your eyes, make sure to use your contact lenses as directed and contact a licensed optician if you feel any soreness or irritation.

CorrectVision Laser Institute is one of Florida’s most advanced vision correction practices with extensive experience in eye health. Our goal is to open your eyes to the world of great vision by offering unparalleled expertise and the most advanced technology available. Contact us today for a consultation with one of our South Florida eye specialists, located in Hollywood, Weston and Pembroke Pines!