It feels abundant to advancement your eyes in an afire with acquaintance lenses, but battery out for them ability be a little painful. Those things can be expensive! So, from a banking perspective, you ability feel like it makes faculty to amplitude out how continued you abrasion your lenses. From an eye bloom perspective…it’s not a acceptable idea.
“It is abhorrent to abrasion the aforementioned acquaintance lenses for a long, continued time,” Alisha Fleming, O.D., an optometrist at Penn Medicine, tells SELF. “Would you go canicule afterwards abrasion your teeth or abrasion the aforementioned underwear for canicule afterwards washing?”
Well, that confirms your suspicions that acquaintance lenses appear with recommended time banned for a reason. But what affectionate of issues ability appear up if you draft accomplished those backup deadlines?
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifies acquaintance lenses as medical devices. As such, the FDA has guidelines on the safest way to use them. One of the better is afterward the manufacturer’s recommended backup agenda for your alone blazon and brand.
Contacts appear in a few accepted forms. Circadian disposable contacts are about soft, adjustable ones you should alone abrasion already afore tossing, the FDA explains. Depending on the brand, you can use continued abrasion acquaintance lenses cautiously for up to 30 days. (Some brands are alike accustomed for brief wear, Vivian Shibayama, O.D., an optometrist and acquaintance lens specialist with UCLA Health, tells SELF, although we’ll explain why you may not appetite to do that in a bit.) Continued abrasion lenses are usually additionally soft, although sometimes they’re in a harder anatomy accepted as adamant gas absorbent (RGP) lenses. RGP lenses are beneath acceptable to tear, added aggressive to build-up, and additionally generally cheaper back you do get to use them for longer, according to the FDA. On the downside, they tend not to be as adequate as bendable lenses, at atomic to start.
Then there are contacts accepted as planned backup lenses, which are bendable lenses you bandy out on a set schedule, like every two weeks, monthly, or annual (instead of throwing them abroad circadian or at some aeon in the continued abrasion timeframe), the American Optometric Association (AOA) says.
Below, assorted fates that could action your eyeballs if you abrasion your lenses for too long:
1. You ability not see as well. Over time, substances like protein deposits, microorganisms, and allergens advance on the apparent of your contacts, the AOA says. While approach like charwoman your lenses every day and afterward acceptable acquaintance lens case hygiene advice anticipate this, it will still appear eventually if you, say, use your circadian disposables for a abounding week. Over time, this could annual issues like bleared vision, Dr. Shibayama says. You ability additionally alpha to acquaintance a afire awareness back you admit your contacts due to all that build-up.
2. Your eyes can become dry and irritated. Alike if your eyes are usually altogether slick, cutting acquaintance lenses can accomplish them added decumbent to dryness. That’s why cutting contacts is a accident agency for the bloom action dry eye. Dry eye about agency the breach blur that keeps your eyes wet isn’t abounding enough, isn’t the appropriate composition, or ghosts your eyeballs by abbreviating too quickly, the National Eye Institute explains. This can annual affection like burning, stinging, and acuteness to light, amid others. (It’s absolutely a decidedly continued list.) If you already accept dry eye, cutting contacts can accomplish it worse—especially if you avoid that backup schedule.
Wearing lenses accomplished their prime can accomplish it harder for your contacts to breach as wet as they charge to in adjustment for you to abrasion them comfortably, Dr. Shibayama says. Doctors see this appealing often. “A lot of patients accept complaints of ache and their eyes activity dry at the end of the day and they appear in attractive for a bewitched solution,” Dr. Fleming says. “Often times, it’s as simple as practicing able hygiene and lens backup to optimize comfort.”
3. You can get an infection. Your contacts aren’t fabricated of a bewitched actuality that’s advised to aftermost for all eternity. Nope, they’re basically aloof plastic.
“Lens abstracts alpha to breach bottomward afterwards their accustomed abrasion period,” Ann Morrison, O.D., analytic adviser in The Ohio State University College of Optometry, tells SELF. This can acquiesce added materials—including infection-causing pathogens—to added calmly access the lenses, she explains. Combined with the actuality that microorganisms and allergens body up on your lenses over time, this increases your accident of an eye infection like communicable keratitis. Communicable keratitis is an deepening of your cornea (that bit of your eye that your acquaintance lens covers) that happens due to bacteria, fungi, or parasites, according to the Mayo Clinic. Contaminated contacts are a above abeyant cause.
This is additionally article doctors accord with appealing often. Cutting lenses best than assigned is one of the best accepted affidavit Dr. Shibayama sees patients with eye infections, she says. Things get alike worse if cutting your contacts for too continued involves sleeping in them—that blocks oxygen breeze to your eyeballs at night, which can advance to some austere affliction and accessible infection. This can be an affair alike if your lenses are technically FDA-approved for brief wear, Dr. Shibayama says, so it’s apparently best to pop them out while you beddy-bye anyway.
If you’re accomplishing this for cost-saving reasons, allocution to your doctor about switching to a added economical cast or attractive into whether or not you can accessible up a bloom allowance accumulation plan, like a adjustable spending account, so that you can use untaxed money from your paycheck to buy your contacts. And if you’re still circumlocutory on how abundant it affairs to change your contacts on time, bethink this gem from Dr. Morrison: “I consistently acquaint my patients that the amount of alleviative complications from acquaintance lens overwear can amount far added than the amount of replacing the lenses appropriately.”
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