Contact Lens Overuse Syndrome
The consequences of abusing extended wear contact lenses may permanently affect your sight or ability to wear contact lenses for the remainder of your life. As your health care professionals responsible for the longevity of your good vision, we have a few questions to ask.
1. Would you like to wear your contact lenses for the next 10-20-50+ years?
2. What would you be willing to pay to be able to see with glasses or contact lenses the rest of your life?
These are your eyes and you decide your comfort level of risk. From studies, research and practice we know our comfortable risk limits. Your contact lens wearing/care regime is unacceptable by current standards of care. Patients do not really know the events or consequences of poor compliance and, unfortunately for some people, we do!
The short term effects of over wearing your extended wear contact lenses are a red, painful eye and/or poor vision. If this ever happens to you, immediately remove your lenses and call our office. If these symptoms are ignored by the patient or simply waived off as “temporary” or “It’ll be gone by the morning”, you move into a higher risk zone with a potentially permanent loss of vision. New blood vessels may grow into the cornea which may mean permanent loss in the ability to wear contact lenses. The worse case scenario would be the development of a corneal abrasion which becomes infected and ulcerates, causing a permanent scar. If this occurs in the center of your cornea where you look through, it may cause such a vision loss that the eye is legally blind.
As you can see, playing the extended wear game by your rules and not the recommendations of the FDA, AOA, and AMA is quite similar to Russian Roulette. There are no guarantees that noncompliance will lead to biting this “contact lens bullet”, but you certainly putting yourself into a HIGH RISK category with which we are not comfortable.
- Wear extended wear only 6 days maximum.
- Leave your lenses out 18 hours + per week, so they can obtain enough Oxygen with your eyes open.
- New contact lens each week.
- Be evaluated every 3 months, as long as you wear the lenses overnight.
- Put drops in your eyes at bed time and upon arising, cleans lens well.
3. Do you want to play Russian Roulette with your eyes?