Why Not to Use Monthly Contacts Longer

 

Soft contact lenses are marketed both in daily use and extended wear lenses. While extended wear, or monthly, contacts may be approved for continuous monthly use, they are not without complications even when worn as directed.

Wearing your contacts for an extended period of time, including when you sleep, can allow debris to build up under the lenses and potentially lead to eye infections or corneal complications. US FDA warns that wearing contacts overnight can cause stress to the cornea. Not enough oxygen will get through the lens, and this can cause corneal damage, elevating the odds for infection.

The longer you wear contact lenses continuously, the greater the risk for an eye infection. This can potentially even lead to blindness without proper treatment.

Everyone's eyes are different. Some people are unable to wear contacts overnight, even if they are designed for weekly or monthly continuous wear.

Complications of wearing monthly contacts longer than their disposal schedule can include:

  • Hypoxia, which is a lack of enough oxygen flowing through the lens to the eye.

  • Corneal problems, including ulcers, or infectious keratitis, tears, abrasions, and sores.

  • Inflammation, which can become chronic and make it hard for you to continue to wear contacts at all.

  • Conjunctivitis (pink eye), which is an infection in the conjunctiva that lines the eyelids.

  • Eye irritation, which can distort vision along with being uncomfortable.

  • Eye infection, which can be serious and cause lasting damage to the eye.

 

US FDA warns that many of these complications can occur with regular contact lens use, especially if strict guidelines for contact lens care are not followed exactly. Extending the wear and use of your lenses beyond their recommended time increases the potential for negative consequences.