8 Things You Can’t Do When Wearing Contact Lenses
When you first started out wearing contact lenses, it is likely that you felt a sense of freedom – the freedom to be able to see clearly without the annoyance of constantly carrying (and likely losing) your glasses. But, for many contact wearers, this feeling slowly begins to fade away.
Over the subsequent days, months, and years, the reality of what you have bought into becomes all too clear.
That initial freedom soon turns into another kind of restriction. Their benefits begin to fade into the background as their downsides become increasingly obvious. To any contact lens wearers reading this, it is likely that you have begun to wonder whether this is actually the convenient and promising solution that it once appeared to be.
So, whether you are still wearing glasses and are wondering if making the switch to contacts is worth it, or are a current contact wearer who is wondering if there is a better way – we recommend that you keep reading and consider your choice of vision correction carefully. We’ve put together eight (which by no means represent all) of the things that a contact lens wearer has to consider every day. By the end of this article, you will see how, as much as contacts might help, they can also make things infinitely more difficult. Let’s take a look at some of the things that you can’t do when wearing contact lenses.
1. Go anywhere without a bathroom
The most important thing to remember when applying or removing contact lenses is that you need to have clean hands. Touching your contact lenses with dirty hands is a sure-fire way to promote infection. In some cases, infections linked to contact lenses can even be sight-threatening, so you’re not going to want to stray too far from a bathroom where you can clean your hands regularly.
2. Sleep or take a siesta
Any person who has ever worn contact lenses will know that keeping them in while you sleep is a big no-no. You should always try not to leave your contacts in for too long, and falling asleep is the easiest and most dangerous way to defy this 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 are more likely to fester and your eyes more likely to become red, irritated, and infected.
3. Wear any makeup
Don’t get us wrong: you can, of course, wear makeup when wearing contact lenses. However, it is far from a good idea. Makeup – particularly eye makeup such as eyeliner and mascara, is one of the leading causes of eye infections – and this danger becomes even more prevalent when you are also wearing contact lenses.
Accidentally getting one smidgen of makeup on your lens means going through the laborious process of taking them out, cleaning them, and disinfecting them. And if you don’t – you could be putting your eyes at real risk.
4. Go swimming or near water
While swimming is obviously not a good idea when wearing contact lenses, coming into contact with any water – including rain, shoers, hot tubs and mist, is actually also a danger. Even more troublesome than dirty hands, water can contain countless bacteria and amoebae that wreak havoc on our eyes and vision. If you’ve ever heard of Acanthamoeba keratitis — it tends to show up in hot tubs — you know what we’re talking about.
5. Touch or rub your eyes
All of us have the uncontrollable urge to rub our eyes at some times during the day or week. Whether your eyes are irritated from staring at a screen for too long, you’re suffering from hay fever, or you’re just tired – this can often be considered a normal reaction. However, even for those of us that don’t wear contact lenses, this can actually lead to an increased 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 on their accompanying cleaning kit. While contact lenses may at first seem infinitely more convenient than glasses, the constant cleaning – not only of the lenses themselves but their case – can soon obliterate that assumption. Damp, dark environments are the ideal conditions for bacteria to grow, so you need to remember to thoroughly dry as well as clean your cases. Keep on top of cleaning your cleaning kit or, yet again, risk the consequences.
7. Live spontaneously and go with the flow
It can be easy to push the limits and wear your contact lenses for too long, particularly when your eyes are still feeling fine. But, just because you can still see clearly and are feeling no discomfort, that doesn’t mean that your lenses aren’t causing damage to your eyes.
Disposable lenses – a popular option for many lens wearers – are not designed to allow enough oxygen and moisture to your corneas when worn over long periods. So, while you might think that it is harmless to put off your lens maintenance in favour of heading to the next bar, you could certainly end up regretting it later.
8. Save money on your vision
When you use contact lenses, you are essentially renting your vision. While this might seem like a good investment in the short term, over longer periods of time, you are actually losing a lot of money. You might try to recoup some of these costs by making your current lenses go a little further. Crawling around on the floor trying to find a lost lens or even wearing a ripped lens can only lead to more problems and wasted money.
So, while contact lenses may initially seem like a convenient solution to your vision problems, their associated costs and risks could soon outweigh their benefits. Luckily, there is a better way.