Updated: Apr 10, 2019
Here’s what can happen, to name a few:
Corneal neovascularization - Remember how we said your cornea should not have blood vessels? With this sight-threatening condition, blood vessels actually invade and grow onto your cornea due to oxygen deprivation. These vessels are permanent and can significantly impair your vision.
Giant papillary conjunctivitis - This occurs when your eyes develop an allergy to your contact lenses, often from the deposits that build-up with lens overwear. The result are bumps on your eyelid that can cause intense itching, irritation, and inability to tolerate wearing your lenses. Guess what happens in this case? You HAVE to stop wearing your lenses. No exceptions, until it’s under control.
Corneal ulcer - An ulcer is an open wound, and like elsewhere in the body, it can happen on your cornea. This often is very painful since the cornea is ultra sensitive, and if left untreated, you can lose your vision. Scary looking, isn’t it?
Bacterial keratitis - This is an infection of the cornea than can also cause eye pain, light sensitivity, redness, and discharge. It is similar to an ulcer without the open wound. Like with an ulcer, scarring can develop in addition vision loss. No bueno.
Bottom line, we all like seeing. We all like the convenience of wearing contacts. As your eye doctors, we want you to have both! And the right way to do it is by practicing good lens hygiene.
Here are some take-home points to keep in mind: Replace your lenses regularly as directed by your doctor.
Take 1-2 days off per week (or more!) from wearing your contacts. This means you MUST have a good pair of glasses. We don’t fit contacts unless you have glasses first. If you don’t like your glasses or they’re old, update them. You’re more likely to wear them if you like them (stay tuned for our upcoming post on investing in glasses!).
Please, don’t skip on your annual eye exams. That’s how we catch things before they spiral out of control.