over wearing contact lenses

Over-wearing contact lenses leave your eyes inflamed and irritated. This however does not pose any potential risk unless you have not been practicing it regularly. Resting your eyes by putting contact lenses off until the redness fades should allow you wear contacts again.

How long can I wear Contact Lenses as a Beginner?

Circle contacts deprive your cornea off its oxygen supply thus wearing it longer than what you have been prescribed may lead to vision threatening infections. Doctors warn against wearing contacts for more than 8 hours. The level of tolerance varies person to person. As a beginner, you may not be able to wear it for more than 4-6 hours. Moreover, certain medical complications such as dry eyes, impure tear film, digital eyestrain etc affect contact lens tolerance. Fortunately, these temporary conditions can be improved with the use of appropriate eye drops.

Rewetting drops help lubricate the surface of your eyes where contact lenses are supposed to rest. Unless your eyes are producing tears in abundance you need to keep rewetting drops on hand. Weather conditions such as dry indoor air-conditioned atmosphere or over-heating under sub zero temperature may also cause discomfort with lenses.

How do I know I have been Over Wearing Contacts?

Look for the following symptoms

  • Red irritated eyes
  • Discharge
  • Eyestrain
  • Heavy eyelids
  • Growth of tiny vessels and blood scarring

Also Read : Watery Eyes with Prescription Contact Lenses

When to Seek Medical Attention?

Over wearing contacts in routine may lead to a condition “neovascularisation” which leads to the growth of tiny blood vessels. Since contact lenses block swift oxygen flow to your cornea; your eyes grow tiny blood vessels in an effort to draw oxygen from your body. Keep in mind eyes are the only organ that draw its oxygen from the environment instead of blood.

These tiny blood vessels may leave your eyes scarred if shot. Cease wearing contact lenses & seek immediate medical attention. Though in many cases using over the counter “take the red out eye drops” suffice, it is better to be safe than sorry.