Your best defense against eye damage from contact lens wear is to follow the advice of your optometrist about how long to wear your contacts and how frequently you should be replacing them.
Your eye doctor will also tell you how long you can wear your lenses safely and whether your eyes can tolerate using extended wear contacts on a continuous basis or if you should wear contact lenses only for limited periods during the day.
Also, be sure to care for your lenses as directed, and use only the contact lens solutions your eye doctor recommends.
If there is a chance you might not keep up the daily lens care, ask about daily disposable contacts. You can simply discard these lenses after each use, eliminating the need for daily lens cleaning and disinfection. One-day disposable contacts also save you money on contact lens solutions.
To avoid serious contact lens-related eye problems, ask yourself this three-part question at the start of each day of contact lens wear: Do my eyes look good, see good and feel good?
1. If your eyes are red or bloodshot, you may be developing dry eyes or an eye infection from your contacts.
2. If your vision is not as clear as it once was, your lenses may be dirty, or your eyes may be swollen from lack of oxygen.
3. And if your eyes are uncomfortable, you may have a corneal abrasion, the beginnings of a corneal ulcer, dry eyes or an eye infection.
If your daily self-assessment suggests you have a contact lens-related eye problem, remove your lenses immediately and call your eye doctor for an urgent appointment. If you do have an eye problem caused by your contacts, the sooner it is evaluated and treated by an eye care professional, the better.
Even if you have no symptoms of eye problems from your contacts, be sure to see your eye doctor for routine annual eye exams. He or she can detect potential eye problems before you notice them and help you continue wearing contact lenses safely and comfortably for years to come. What truly is bad for your eyes is to neglect them.