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Overuse of Contact Lenses

Discussion in 'Ophthalmology: Eye Physicians & Surgeons' started by Brown429, Jul 30, 2006.

  1. Brown429

    Brown429 Junior Member
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    Currently a medical student,

    Wondering the long term consequences of wearing contacts for about 2 weeks without taking them out. I usually wear Accuve and they are not mean't for over night use... I have searched the internet but I cannot find consequences...i have fallen into a bad habit...
     
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  3. twintiger32

    twintiger32 Member
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    corneal neovascularization? infection?

    just a guess but they make sense
     
  4. UABopt

    UABopt Member
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    Certainly there are consequences of overnight contact lens wear, especially lenses that were never intended to be worn overnight. Traditional soft or hydrogel contact lenses generally have a high water content which makes them quite comfortable. This material though does not have a high Dk/T which means very little oxygen will arrive at the cornea. The cornea is avascular tissue, and it is that way for a reason, so that you can see through it. Without blood vessels though much of the oxygen the cornea receives must come directly from the air. Depriving the cornea of oxygen while wearing contacts is exacerbated at night when your eyes are closed. The Na/K ATPases of the corneal endothelium don’t work very well in low oxygen conditions and as a result your cornea will swell overnight. In addition there is also evidence that contact lens wear has an effect on corneal endothelium which does not tend to regenerate itself (there is still debate about this as stem cells have been found in the corneal endothelium). Also in relatively extreme cases the hypoxia can lead to corneal neovascularization.

    It may be surprising to hear that hard contacts also known as rigid gas permeable lenses have a much greater Dk/T than hydrogel contacts. I

    n the relative recent past a new material has been developed for soft contacts known as silicon hydrogel. The silicon has a high Dk/T which means less corneal swelling, so much so that some of these lenses are even approved for 30 days of continuous wear. If you intend to sleep in your contact lenses at all I would make sure that you tell your OD or OMD so that they can Rx you silicon hydrogels. Lenses made of this new material include Focus night and day, and o2 optics as well as Acuvue Advance and Acuvue Oasis among others.

    There are inherent risks of wearing lenses overnight, even with the new silicon hydrogels the risk of contact lens related infectious keratitis is increased. As always you should go to a health care provider to seek advice. Always follow their wearing and lens care regimen. As we always say contact lens wearers tend to be the addicts of the eye care world. People don’t tend to take good care of their eyes reusing cleaning solutions if they clean their contacts at all, not removing contacts at night etc..etc..etc… and everything is fine and dandy until they end up with a corneal ulcer, and thats no fun for anybody.
     
  5. Olddog1

    Olddog1 Junior Member
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    One of my best friends is a Neurosurg resident, over wore his contacts, corneal ulcer developed. He was treated quickly and appropriately, and the ulcer was peripheral. Just think about it though. He did 4 years of college, 4 years of medical school, and 6 years of neurosurg residency. If he lost his binocular vision he would be screwed and would need to do another residency where stereopsis is not important.
     
  6. vtrain

    vtrain Senior Member
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    The biggest concern with CL over use is with a corneal ulcer. This is the most severe complication of contact lenses and is more often seen with extended wear soft lenses. In this condition, trauma or contamination to the cornea from the contact lens results in an infection. This sometimes requires hospitalization for treatment and can lead to extensive corneal scarring. Corneal transplant surgery may be required to regain good vision. Although very rare, it is possible that a patient could lose an eye from a severe corneal ulcer. --- taken from the U of I ophtho website

    Neovasc is also a complication too stemming from a deprivation of oxygen to the cornea. Plus if you wear your CLs too long they eventually collect protein and debris and make your lens feel awful.
     
  7. 7ontheline

    7ontheline Member
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    Seriously, just take care of your lenses. Your eyes will thank you. I know it seems like a small thing, but it's still a part of your health. You wouldn't be have much credibility as a doctor telling patients to take care of themselves if you didn't take your own meds and weighed 400 lbs, right? Same thing with your eyes, really.
     
  8. farqueue

    farqueue Member
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    jeezus..... cant u spend 5 minutes taking them off???
    why dont u use glasses? eheh..... the girls arent that hot anyway...... only use contacts when goin out... or LASIK them
     
  9. Brown429

    Brown429 Junior Member
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    Thanks for the input, I am just lazy and cannot wake up and it takes me a while 6 minutes to put in contacts because my eyes are watery. I plan on getting a nice pair of glasses for medical school..i do not want to ruin my eyes...the everyday contact wear is expensive.

    is LASIK safe? I will get it once I am a physician, I mean I do not want to finish medical school...get the surgery and end up blind? I saw an article about in times but really do not know the risks, especially long term.
     
  10. UABopt

    UABopt Member
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    If you plan on getting LASIK I would wait until you are done with school. A dental student in my class got lasik shortly before we started school and is now a 2D myope again!!!! I myself am 1.5D more myopic than when I started school (reading.... A LOT.... can do that to you).

    You can sleep in your contacts, just make sure you are in silicon hydrogels with a high enough Dk/t. I myself am still a little skeptical, and there is still an increased risk of infection and K ulcer, but this lens material is better on most accounts so there is no reason not to try them, take them out at night, and if you happen to forget/fall asleep it won't be too tragic.

    Just my 2 cents.
     

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