8 Things you can’t do wearing contact lenses

When you first start wearing contact lenses, it can be like receiving your ticket to visual freedom — especially if you’ve worn glasses for a long time.

But as the days and weeks and years pass, the reality of what you’ve bought into becomes all too clear. You start seeing how much of a hinderance contacts actually are, their benefits start to fade into the background, and you begin wondering if they’re actually the convenient and promising solution you thought they were.

Whether this sounds familiar to you or you still wear glasses and are wondering if making the switch to contacts is worth it, you’ll want to keep reading and consider your choice of vision correction wisely.

Here are eight (and by no means all) of the everyday things contacts not only don’t help you with, but that they can actually make infinitely more difficult.

1. Go anywhere without a bathroom

Unless you can manage to keep your hands spotlessly clean at all times, you shouldn’t handle your contacts outside the bathroom. Touch your contacts without first washing your hands, and you’ve effectively just given bacteria a ride to your eyes and set in the motion the first stages of what could be a sight-threatening infection.

2. Sleep or take a siesta

You know you shouldn’t wear your contacts for too long, and sleeping is the easiest and most dangerous way to defy that rule. When sleeping, your eyes can’t make use of the window wiping system of your eyelids or the washer fluid of your tears. And so if you fall asleep with your contacts in, bacteria is more likely to fester and your eyes more likely to become red, irritated, and infected.

3. Wear any makeup

You can wear makeup while wearing contact lenses, but it’s far from a good idea. Get one smidgen of eyeliner or pencil on them, and if you don’t go through the whole routine of taking them out, cleaning them, and disinfecting them, then you’re putting your eyes at real risk.

4. Go swimming or near water

When we say go swimming, we mean, of course, come into contact with any water, including rain, the shower, hot tubs, pools, and mist. Water is even more troublesome than our hands as it can contain bacteria and amoebae that wreak havoc on our eyes and vision. If you’ve ever heard of Acanthamoeba keratitis — it tends to show up a lot in hot tubs — you know what we’re talking about.

5. Touch or rub your eyes

If you often find yourself rubbing your eyes when you’re tired or massaging them after staring at the screen for hours, then even if you don’t wear contacts you’re increasing your risk of keratoconus.

Keratoconus can lead to blurry vision and, in serious cases, the need for a corneal transplant. As contact lenses inevitably make you more likely to have a good rub of your eyes, this is something lens wearers should be aware of.

6. Have a life outside your lenses

When you wear contact lenses, you not only sign up to always keeping one eye on your lenses, but also their accompanying cleaning kit.

To prevent bacteria and fungi from building up on your contact’s case, you need to wash it out regularly with solution and make sure you let it dry completely before using it again. Damp, dark environments are the ideal conditions for bacteria to grow, so you need to keep on top of cleaning your cleaning kit or, yet again, risk the consequences.

7. Live spontaneously and go with the flow

You may think your eyes feel fine and so it’s okay to power through and wear them for another two, five, or twelve hours. But just because you can still see clearly and feel no discomfort, doesn’t mean they’re not causing damage to your eyes.

Disposable lenses, for instance, are not designed to allow enough oxygen and moisture into your eyes over long periods of time. That means although you may feel your eyes are okay enough to go to another bar or to go another day without replacing your lenses, you’ll certainly regret it later.

8. Save money on your vision

When you use contact lenses, you’re renting your vision. As such, like when renting a house instead of owning it, you’re essentially losing money instead of getting a return on your investment.

What’s more, anything you do to try and save how much you’re shelling out on contacts each month, from crawling around to find a lost one to wearing a ripped lens or trying to make your disposables last longer, only leads to more problems and wasted money. Contacts are meant to be temporary and convenient, but if they end up costing you too much or causing you too much trouble, then maybe they should be disposed of themselves.