Why You Should Not Overwear Contacts

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Contact lenses are an excellent alternative to wearing glasses for those with poor vision. Unlike eyeglasses, contact lenses are a discreet medical device that can be placed on top of your eye and are available with a prescription. 

Wearing contact lenses has always been popular, but anything in excess has potential adverse effects. The major adverse effect that occurs as a result of overwearing contact lenses is known as an overwearing syndrome. 

In this article, we’ll discuss what overwearing syndrome is and how it can be avoided. 

What is Overwearing Syndrome?

To put it simply, overwearing syndrome occurs from overwearing contact lenses. When contact lenses are prescribed, there are instructions for the period that a contact lens should be worn, including instructions on removing the lenses during sleeping. Not following this guidance will put you at risk for overwearing syndrome. 

In fact, 95% percent of emergency weekend calls to ophthalmologists are from people who sleep in their contacts!

If contact lenses are worn for too long, there’s limited oxygenation of the cornea and tear formation. As a result, you may experience a loss of sensitivity to your cornea. 

Along with lost sensitivity of the cornea, the common symptoms of the overwearing syndrome are:

  • Redness of the conjunctiva
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Swollen eyelids
  • Corneal edema
  • Keratitis (inflammation of the cornea)

Advanced cases of overwearing syndrome can enhance these symptoms and may lead to permanent loss of vision. 

How to Manage Overwearing Syndrome

Prevention is key. Don’t sleep in your contacts. Don’t use the contact for longer than instructed. 

If you are a contact lens wearer and have pain, you should call your prescribing doctor or an ophthalmologist immediately. 

With daily disposable contact lenses, it’s unlikely to experience symptoms as long as you’re changing them out every day and refraining from wearing them while sleeping. 

The Eye Clinic of Florida provides expert care when it comes to choosing the correct contact lens for you. Our high-quality optical wear will ensure your eyes are healthy and free from fatigue. Contact us for a consultation!