For How Long Can Contact Lens Be Worn?
The eye is one of the five sense organs of the body. This is one of the first things we learn in school when we learn to read and write. Therefore it is very important to look after our eyes, with or without visual corrective aids. So if you wear contact lenses, what precautions are to be taken to keep your eyes healthy? The answer is: much more than if you do not wear contacts. One of the important factors to be kept in mind for wearers of contact lenses is the duration of use.
Duration of Contact Lenses Wear
The first important thing to consider here is that the wearing period of contact lenses should be determined by your eye doctor. This period can range from one day to a month or in some exceptional cases even up to 2 months. There can be some flexibility in the choice of lens but never make a decision without consulting your optician.
Duration of Wear For First-Timers
If you are a newcomer to contact lens wearing, it is recommended that you do not wear your contacts for the full duration to start with. For example, if you have daily wear contact lenses, you could wear them for 4 to 6 hours for the first week or so and then gradually increase the time by 2 hours until you wear them for the full recommended duration. In any case, it is always a good idea to give your eyes a period of rest when you can remove your contact lenses and expose them to some fresh air. Never over wear your contact lenses, as it can lead to several complications.
Duration of Contacts Wear in general
There is actually no fixed rule which determines how long contact lenses need to be worn. As mentioned earlier, you can buy a daily contact lens or a two-monthly pair. The duration of usage largely depends on the tolerance of the user's eyes.
Effects of Over-wearing Lenses
As mentioned earlier, over-wearing of contact lenses can lead to several complications. The human eye needs a regular supply of atmospheric oxygen which it receives through the cornea. The design of contact lenses is such that oxygen passes through their surface. But in time the permeability reduces, resulting in a deficiency of oxygen to the eye. This condition is known a "hypoxia". Once hypoxia develops, it can lead to further complications such as "refractive error changes" which is warping of the cornea. It can also lead to corneal ulcers. Since the physical properties of the corneal surface also change, there is a high susceptibility to bacterial growth which leads to painful eye infections.
ConclusionWe can end here by reiterating a few points. Firstly, there is no fixed norm for the duration of contact lens usage. It varies from person to person and is usually determined by your doctor. Finally, the golden rule to be followed at all times is never over-wearing your contacts. All contact lenses have a specific wearing period and under no circumstances should they be worn beyond that period.