Vision Health Dangers of Over-Wearing Contact Lenses

A study sponsored by Ciba Vision shows that 40% of contact lens users wear contact lenses longer than manufacturer specified recommendations. With excuses ranging from financial to forgetfulness, wearers must realize the potential damage created by prolonged wear of contact lenses.

The danger begins with the types of contact lenses people are prescribed. There are many different types of contact lenses from daily, weekly, and monthly to the physical material they’re made of including silicone hydrogels such as Alfafilcon A, Phemfilcon A, and many others.

Each of these different types and styles vary in the length of time they can be worn in the eye before damage begins to occur. Material types are classed in four groups – Low water, non-ionic; High water, non-ionic; Low water, ionic; and High Water, ionic.

The key to each classification is water content which helps pass the flow of oxygen to the eye along with different types of deposits that can collect on the lens.Different materials are much more favorable to build-up of infection causing proteins and lipids. Oxygen reduction in the eye can cause long-term health problems including corneal ulcers and inflammation.

As the Ciba Vision study shows, via WebMD, weekly and monthly lens wearers are most likely to over-wear lenses. Remembering to change out lenses months down the road is the biggest reason. Simple steps such as an email reminder, notations in your smart phone, or timer cases are the easiest remedies. Daily lens wearers on the other hand cite saving money as the main reason for wearing lenses longer than normal. While daily lenses can be the most expensive lenses on the market in yearly expenses, these lenses are not made for wear more than a day and extending them out to a week or more can cause serious health risks that the money saved can’t buy back.

It’s imperative that contact lens users are aware of the potential permanent harm that can be done to eyes when wearing contact lenses longer than prescribed. If wearing lenses over is an issue, consult an eye doctor to figure out the best steps to improve how you wear contact lenses.

AC Lens is a leading retailer of contact lenses by Acuvue, Freshlook, Air Optix, and more. Discuss vision related issues in the AC Lens Forums, follow us on Twitter, or be a fan on Facebook. AC Lens recommends the LensAlert contact lens timer to keep track of when to change your contact lenses or contact lens case. Visit AC Lens to find low prices every day on contact lenses, reading glasses, and other vision care products.