Are contacts bad for your eyes?

Did you know that roughly 45 million Americans wear contacts? Contact lenses revolutionized the eye care industry in the 1950s and have grown in popularity with each stage of development. If you are a good candidate for contacts, it’s essential to wear them properly. Otherwise, you could put your eyes at risk.

Read on to learn about the dangers of wearing contacts incorrectly. 

Contact lenses are safe when worn properly

Contacts need to be moisturized and cleaned to keep your eyes healthy. Unlike glasses that sit away from the eyes, contacts are worn directly on top of your eyeballs. If you leave your contacts in for too long, they may dry out or suffocate your eye, resulting in potential vision loss. 

Simply put, contacts can be bad for your eyes if they are fit improperly, overworn, or not cleaned properly. 

Safety tips while wearing contacts

Follow these safety tips to avoid adverse side effects from contact lenses:

  • Change your contact lenses on schedule. Even with regular cleaning, your contacts can only be safely worn for so long. Follow the usage schedule outlined by your eye doctor. This will vary based on the type of contacts you wear.
  • Clean your contact lens case and change it periodically. The case can harbor bacteria, which may lead to eye infections. 
  • Wash your hands before touching your eyes. Avoid rubbing your eyes as much as possible to minimize the risk of contamination. 
  • Take your contacts out before you sleep, including naps. Sleeping in your contacts increases your risk of corneal infection. 
  • Do not swim with contacts in. This may impact your vision while swimming, but it will protect your eyes and contact lenses. 
  • Talk to your eye doctor about any negative reactions you’re experiencing. If your contacts make your eyes itchy, puffy, or inflamed, you may need an alternative solution.

How often should I get new contact lenses?

Reusable contact lenses last for about six months, depending on how frequently you wear them. The less often you wear them, the longer their lifespan will be. 

Some styles of contact lenses need to be replaced every month or every quarter. Disposable lenses must be replaced every two weeks, and daily disposables should be replaced daily. Your eye doctor can recommend the appropriate care instructions for your contact lenses.