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Contact lenses are worn by millions of people around the world. However, they are not for everyone. A person might not be able to wear contact lenses if they:

  • Easily get eye infections.
  • Get allergies that are hard to treat.
  • Live or work in a very dusty environment.
  • Are not able to care for their contact lenses.

Challenges and Remedies

One of the challenges of using contact lenses is wearing them for long stretches through the day (18 hours or more) or when one has irregular sleep patterns. Prolonged wear is as bad as sleeping with the lenses still in the eyes, which is something eye doctors warn against.

The eyes need oxygen and contact lenses can block the amount of oxygen getting to the eyes. Particularly when one is using the regular hydrogel lenses which are relatively less permeable to oxygen. Prolonged use of the contact lenses can lead to the cornea becoming inflamed and the vision blurry. It could also lead to corneal ulcers that can develop to permanently damaged vision.

To remedy this, one can:

  • Alternate wearing contact lenses with eyeglasses
  • Try wearing contact lenses made of silicone hydrogel, which improves oxygen permeability and may reduce the risk of infections and discomfort.

Care Tips

Some care tips when using contact lenses:

  • Always clean and disinfect any lens you take out of your eye before putting them back or storing them in their case.
  • There are many types of cleaning systems. Use the type prescribed by your doctor.
  • Take care to store your lenses to avoid damage to the lenses or eye infections.
  • Old or ill-fitting contact lenses can damage your eyes or cause blood vessels to grow into your cornea, and this can threaten your vision.
  • Avoid using eye drops when wearing contact lenses. Sometimes a doctor might prescribe wetting drops which are different from eye drops.
  • Discontinue using your contact lenses and see your eye doctor right away if your eyes are very red, painful, watery, sensitive to light, blurry, or if you notice oozing discharge or pus coming from your eyes. These could be symptoms of serious eye problems.

Contact lenses need extra special care so take your time when cleaning, putting them in or storing them away.