Welcome. My name is Ariana and I work as a medical assistant at an army base. My main job is to make sure that there are no hidden health risks for our seemingly fit army personnel. One of the biggest issues I uncover is eyesight problems. I have discovered that a lot of people think that there is no need to visit an optometrist unless their eyes are sore or vision is blurry. This myth can be found in the army too. In the course of my work, I have learnt that many eye problems have no symptoms for a long time. I am always encouraging family and friends to go for annual eye checks. I have become so passionate about this issue that I started this blog to explain how optometrists can help you keep the best vision possible. Please scan through my entries. Enjoy.
If there's one thing that optometrists around the world have trouble making their patients understand, it's the importance of giving your eyes a chance to breathe by having your contact lenses out for at least a few hours a day. Unfortunately, the convenience of contacts means that many wearers will keep them in all day every day, a practice that can ultimately lead to harm.
Understanding the Contact Lens
Before you appreciate the problems that come along with over-wearing your contact lenses, it's important to gain an understanding of the lenses themselves. A contact is porous, meaning that it can absorb fluids and gases, taking them either towards or away from your eye. This allows oxygen to reach your eye, although the amount of oxygen that can pass through varies significantly between lens types.
Lenses also collect and trap contaminants – this is why contact lenses tend to feel less absorbent as they dry out towards the end of the day.
Understanding Your Eyes
Your eyes need oxygen in order to stay healthy. Your cornea – the transparent layer that forms the outside of your eye – is protected by cells that need oxygen to survive. That oxygen isn't supplied by your bloodstream, but is rather drawn from the atmosphere. Cells that are deprived of oxygen will soon become swollen and cease to function properly. This means that the cornea loses its protective shield, and is suddenly exposed to bacteria.
Understanding The Risks of Over-Wearing Contacts
Fresh contacts allow the eye to receive the oxygen it needs, all while letting mucus and other waste products produced by cells be pulled away from the eye. Unfortunately, the fact that your lenses trap these contaminants means that they will build up next to the eye, stopping oxygen from penetrating. Additionally, external contaminants – such as dust - can start to penetrate the lens.
This causes damage to the cornea, and that damage is exacerbated by the fact that the lenses themselves will become increasingly hard as they dry out. When this occurs, tiny cuts can be inflicted, allowing bacteria direct access. Though rare, this can lead to irreversible vision loss if aggressive type of bacteria is allowed to penetrate.
It isn't hard to see why people over-wear their contacts. After all, the majority of users will forget that they're wearing them once they are in. However, keeping them in too long, though it might not cause any noticeable discomfort, can have extremely negative consequences, so make sure you keep yours fresh and give your eyes a chance to breathe.