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  1. #1
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    leaving contacts in too long?

    Any optometrists or opthalmologists in the house? Need help settling something I was talking to a coworker about tonight.

    I wear contacts, have for 9 years now (almost 21 y/o). Got glasses 13 years ago. I started with the standard daily, 2-week (?) contacts that come out every night and go back in every morning. No problem, I never had issues w/ putting them in--got them in w/ no irritation my first try when the doc wanted to "demo" to see how I'd react. Was good about changing them for a few months.

    Then I got wrapped up in sports and busy and started sleeping in them. No irritation. None. Zilch. Zippola. Would go a couple months before taking them out when my mom noticed the contact boxes weren't disappearing . It just started again with the next pair, wearing 24/7. Went to all my annual eye check-ups, doctor didn't ask about what my wearing habits were, so it never came up. Prescription changed a couple times, he said because I was still growing.

    Moved to ISU for school, started at a new eye doctor, he asked about my wearing habits. I was straight up and told him, got a little lecture--no detail though, he put me in the "breathable" ones that I can wear 24/7 for 2 weeks, take out for a night, wear 24/7 for two more weeks, then put in a new pair. I would wear them for 3-4 months at a time w/ no irritation, no removal, etc. My prescription has changed once, and has been steady for over 2 years now, no irritation. In fact, I've been wearing my current pair since early September, no problems at all.


    So....the issue? Guy I'm working with claims that I could get some funky infections and diseases if I don't follow the instructions exactly. He admits to having no history of eye problems in his family, and never meeting an optometrist. Claims I could go blind, never be a candidate for Lasik (something w/ the cornea going mushy?), among other things. My doctor has mentioned that once my eyes completely stabilize--my parents eyes didn't until they were almost 30--that I would be a great candidate for Lasik. I'd like to believe what he told me...but this little convo at work has me wondering. Anyone?



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    Re: leaving contacts in too long?

    You could get blood vessels growing over your eyeball. Once it gets to that point there isn't much they can do. Although for it to get to that point your eyes would be really bloodshot and I would think you/your eyes would be incredibly irritated. Basically don't let it get that far. All has something to do with the eye getting enough air.

    I was kind of in the habit your were in. I realized it doesn't take very long to take them out and put them in and use my glasses every now and then. It's pretty remarkable how much better my eyes look and feel.



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    Re: leaving contacts in too long?

    Quote Originally Posted by jbcyclone View Post
    You could get blood vessels growing over your eyeball. Once it gets to that point there isn't much they can do. Although for it to get to that point your eyes would be really bloodshot and I would think you/your eyes would be incredibly irritated. Basically don't let it get that far. All has something to do with the eye getting enough air.

    I was kind of in the habit your were in. I realized it doesn't take very long to take them out and put them in and use my glasses every now and then. It's pretty remarkable how much better my eyes look and feel.
    I just went through the same thing (seriously... talked to an optomitirst about a week ago...)

    Blood vessles have gone to but not through the iris so far...

    I haven't had much trouble with infections... though I was starting to get some gunk on my contacts I'd notice when I took 'em out. Apperently that was my eyes having a reaction to the contacts being in too much...

    Nothing noticeable but may have contributed to the lack of O2 to my eyes...


    Either way... my contacts were getting harder to wear and they wouldn't last as long. Something about fluid build up in my eye due to not enough oxygen getting through... (hence the blood vessels - to carry O2 in)

    Long story short I'm supposed to wear my glasses more for a while (I had been doing that anyways, because my eyes were feeling really strained from the contacts) - and things should reverse themselves over time.



    A habit my doctor suggested to me was to come home from work and take the contacts out for a few hours... I can even put them back in before bed if I want so I'm ready to go in the morning

    If you're still in school that won't work quite as well probably... but say you know you'll be studying all night instead of going to a Basketball game or the bars or what not, wear glasses for that

    Or maybe the lazy Saturdays where it's too cold to go out and you just sit around the dorms...


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    Re: leaving contacts in too long?

    I did this in college as well..dont do it. Sooner or later it will bite you in the ***



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    Re: leaving contacts in too long?

    I had the disposable ones that you can wear for a month at a time and never take them out. I used to wear them for 2-3 months without problems. I would take them out every month and wear glasses for a couple of days. I never had any problems but always felt a little guilty doing it. I did this for about 5 years.

    2 weeks ago I had Lasik so no worries now.



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    Re: leaving contacts in too long?

    Remember the "scare" with the Bausch & Lomb solution a couple of years ago (I thought it was the best contact solution ever made)? People claimed that there was something wrong with the solution and if you used it it could cause a fungus to grow on your eye? Well, as it turned out, there was nothing wrong with the product so long as you followed the directions in its use. But because of America's fascination of "idiot-proofing" itself and making the usage of products safe even if you use them incorrectly, the best contact solution ever created got pulled from the shelves.

    It's the same thing with the lenses themselves - they have instructions of use and warning labels for a reason.


    As for me, there is no way I'd be able to wear my contact lenses overnight. I have an undiagnosed "dry eye" condition that just saps the moisture out of my contacts, and by the time I'm getting ready for bed I'm usually dying to get my contacts out. I'd wear my glasses more, but I'm so used to wearing my contacts that the glasses put uncomfortable strain on my eyes. I'll take naps in my contacts, but I'll never sleep with them overnight.


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    Re: leaving contacts in too long?

    Quote Originally Posted by dmclone View Post
    I had the disposable ones that you can wear for a month at a time and never take them out. I used to wear them for 2-3 months without problems. I would take them out every month and wear glasses for a couple of days. I never had any problems but always felt a little guilty doing it. I did this for about 5 years.

    2 weeks ago I had Lasik so no worries now.
    I have ones like that, Focus Night & Day that you can wear for a month straight... night and day. My optometrist tells me to take them out and clean them once a week, I usually take them out and clean them every other week. As far as sleeping with them, it doesn't bother me at all, usually just need a couple drops of multipurpose solution in the morning.

    That's fine for now, but I think I will probably do Lasik some day... I figure as long as my contacts aren't bothering me, the longer I wait for Lasik the better they get at it!



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    Re: leaving contacts in too long?

    Quote Originally Posted by SeattleClone View Post
    I have ones like that, Focus Night & Day that you can wear for a month straight... night and day. My optometrist tells me to take them out and clean them once a week, I usually take them out and clean them every other week. As far as sleeping with them, it doesn't bother me at all, usually just need a couple drops of multipurpose solution in the morning.

    That's fine for now, but I think I will probably do Lasik some day... I figure as long as my contacts aren't bothering me, the longer I wait for Lasik the better they get at it!

    Yeah I had the night and days... and would even sometimes wear glasses for a few days every 2 weeks

    I tended to wear them for longer than a month though... and since i wear them 24/7 going past that month is apperently pretty bad... since over time they let less oxygen through

    I've been doing this for several years and it's caught up with me a bit


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    Re: leaving contacts in too long?

    I don't know how you can wear contacts 24/7 for so long. I can't sleep one night in mine. For a very short period I had the extended wear lenses that you supposedly can leave in while you sleep. I hated them. You wake up and your eyes feel like the contacts are stuck to them.
    I use the disposables. I take them out every night and use a pair for a month or 2.
    I really need should get Lasik done. My prescription hasn't changed in close to 10 years.



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    Re: leaving contacts in too long?

    Quote Originally Posted by jdoggivjc View Post
    I'd wear my glasses more, but I'm so used to wearing my contacts that the glasses put uncomfortable strain on my eyes. I'll take naps in my contacts, but I'll never sleep with them overnight.
    I found I had trouble with that for a while... (having trouble wearing my glasses after wearing contacts for so long)

    Sometimes I'd spend some time not wearing either for a while before I put my glasses on (usually take 'em out a few minutes before bed, put them on in the morning before leaving)

    Best way to fix it is to just wear your glasses for a few days and make a habit of doing so every few weeks...


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    Re: leaving contacts in too long?

    I have disposable wear contacts, and have had them 16 years. I started sleeping in them 14 years ago, and have continued to do so. I have a great eye doctor who is also a close family friend, so I have always been straight up with my wearing habits to him. He checks my eyes on a regular basis and there is no sign of any damage. A few years ago he wanted me to switch to the day and night ones because of my habits, and thought that they would be better for allowing oxygen into my eyes. For whatever reason, they were AWFUL! They stuck to my eyes, and I was very sensitive to light, and were tearing up all the time. It's like they did the opposite effect of what they were made to accomplish. I still take them out every few months and clean them, and when I notice that things aren't as sharp, I put in new ones. After all this, my doctor still says that my eyes look great. I did have one time that something was caught between my contact and eye, that caused a slight scratch. I had to wear glasses for 2 weeks and use some special eye drops. After 16 years, not to bad I would say.



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    Re: leaving contacts in too long?

    I was using Day and Night as well with no problems.



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    Re: leaving contacts in too long?

    Yeah I got the same speech from an optometrist when I was in college. I had the yearly wear contacts and I had been wearing the same pair for like 2 years. He said there was literally layers of filth on it and that it was a miracle I didnt develop a major infection.

    So yeah apparently you do need to change them and not sleep in them all the time, though I know people who sleep in them forever..... I dont know how you guys do it though, more than a day and my eyes start to get really irritated.



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    Re: leaving contacts in too long?

    I've forgotten to take mine out once or twice at night. Wake up with 'em very uncomfortably stuck to my eyes. Nah, I can't say I'll ever wear them 24/7 - even without the risks noted here.



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    Re: leaving contacts in too long?

    My wife got the lecture from her optometrist about 2 weeks ago. Apparently leaving them in too long had done some pretty funky things to her eyes.
    As for me, 20/13 vision with a little sun damage so I've just started wearing sunglasses for the first time in my life.


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