Overwearing contact lenses can be health hazard - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Overwearing contact lenses can be health hazard

(Source: NBC) (Source: NBC)
(KAIT/NBC) -

There are FDA standards that state the healthiest range of time to wear different types of contact, and experts said there are potential health hazards for going past the recommended wear time.

Optometrist Madison Wall Hayes said over-wearing contacts can actually deprive eyes from necessary oxygen. 

"You're reducing the amount of oxygen that gets to the cornea, the cornea has to get the oxygen from the air and the blood vessels from the eyelid. A little bit of impediment is okay, with wearing your contacts as they are supposed to," said Wall-Hayes. "If you wear them too long or sleep in them, you're dramatically reducing the amount of oxygen that gets to the eye that leads to infections, for new blood vessel growth on the cornea, for lots of problems."

There are a number of infections you can contract if you choose to over-wear and sleep in your contacts.

"Giant comparably conjunctivitis our contact lenses are like sponges, so they soak up anything in our tears and they get stuck to our lenses, our lids have to blink over that every day and it can create bumps under the eyelid which sets up an infection. The second thing is corneal hypoxia, like we talked about the cornea not get enough oxygen, the cornea is clear for a reason when we don't get enough oxygen, the brain thinks, I'm going to send more blood vessels to send more oxygen but blood vessels are not clear so it can damage our vision. The third thing is corneal ulcers its where we get an abrasion on the skin of the cornea and sets up an infection on the cornea," said Wall-Hayes. 

Experts said the best way to avoid infection is to wear contacts exactly how the FDA instructed.

Symptoms of over-wearing lenses include pain, blurred vision, red eyes and excessive tearing.

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