Did you hear the story about the ….
Twenty-nine-year-old guy who was blinded by parasites after he showered while wearing his contact lenses?
Thirty-four-year-old man who developed an infection and blurry vision in his eyes after sleeping in his contacts?
Fifty-seven-year-old woman who needed a corneal graft from the infection she obtained from wearing her contacts for weeks straight?
Fifty-nine-year-old man who – you may want to sit down for this – developed a large gaping hole in his cornea after wearing his contact lenses for continuous days on a hunting trip? (By the way, his eyesight never completely recovered.)
We’re Not Knocking Contact Lenses
Contact lenses are a viable choice for a lot of people. And they are definitely a step up from glasses – they offer better peripheral vision, and don’t collect precipitation or perspiration like glasses do. And here’s some fun trivia for you: in 1964 Lyndon Baines Johnson became the first U.S. President to appear in public wearing contact lenses. Under the care of a physician, of course.
Contacts are also great for athletes and anyone who needs to wear specialized glasses or goggles.
But there are definitely rules to follow when wearing contact lenses. And the longer you wear them the greater the risk of something going wrong if you aren’t diligent with your habits. And, unfortunately, the longer one wears them the less diligent one tends to be.
I Know What I’m Doing
If you wear contact lenses you know how it goes; you fall asleep in them or accidentally wear them for a day (or two!) longer than you are supposed to and …. nothing happens! Sure, you know the warnings, you’ve heard the stories, but – you think – it won’t happen to me. It didn’t happen to me. I’m diligent 90% of the time. But it’s that 10% that will get you.
It’s A Slippery Slope
Once you’ve slept in your contact lenses, or worn them longer than you are supposed to, it becomes easier and easier to make bad decisions concerning your lenses. A 17-year old girl developed a permanent scar on her cornea after sleeping in lenses she bought from a chain store. Another woman didn’t see her eye doctor for five years; she kept refilling her contact lens prescription online and then ended up with an infection. And don’t even get us started on those “decorative” lenses and the damage they can cause unless they are treated with the utmost attention to detail.
If you’re not regularly seeing your eye doctor or are not very hygienic (or are living with someone who isn’t very hygienic) your risk for eye infection or damage increases dramatically.
You Have Options
When you consider all the time, and money, and risk that you incur every day with your contact lenses, doesn’t it make sense to at least check out what other options might be available? At first glance, corrective eye surgery might appear expensive. But so is a trip to the emergency room. Or visit after visit to your eye doctor to clear up a persistent problem caused by improper use of contact lenses. You have one pair of eyes. How much are they worth to you?
Dr. Leslie Emmert-Buck is the expert in vision correction surgery. She knows which questions to ask to figure out which surgery may be right for you and your lifestyle. She has changed countless lives all over the East Coast and in Michigan and wants you to live the rest of your life with the best vision possible. Schedule your appointment today!