Eye surgeon never explains to patients that extended wear contact lenses
have a higher risk of infection as compared to all other types of
contact lenses. The CDC has estimated about 45 million people
in the United States wear contact lenses for vision correction.

We may not know that one of the most common risks with contact lens wearing
is infectious keratitis or a corneal ulcer.


Types of Contact Lenses

There are many different types of contact lenses such as:
  • Daily Disposable Soft Contact Lenses
  • Extended Wear Contact Lenses
  • Rigid Gas Permeable Contact Lenses
The risk of infection among different types of contact lenses is not the
same. Extended wear contact lenses are the ones that the FDA has
approved for
overnight wear, and some
of them are approved by the FDA for overnight or continuous wear up
to 30 days.

A little-known fact is that extended wear contact lenses are recognized
by the FDA as a Class III medical device. Class III medical devices
are those which the FDA has determined to have a significant risk of
illness or injury.

Some examples of other class III medical devices are implantable
pacemakers and breast implants. According to the American Academy of
Ophthalmology, the risk of getting an infection is
10 to 15 times greater with extended wear contact lenses when
compared to daily wear contact lenses.

What is the Reason for Infection with Extended Wear Contact Lenses?

The main reason for the increased risk with extended wear contact lenses
is that people sleep with their contact lenses in. The backside of
the contact lens is in direct contact with the outermost layer of
the cornea which is the clear windshield of the eye.

The longer the contact lens stays on the surface of the eye, the more
opportunity for bacteria to cause infection. Contact lenses also
interfere with tear fluid exchange that happens naturally on the surface
of the eye.

The tear fluid not only washes away bacteria and other pathogens but also
contains several antimicrobial peptides. Therefore, overnight wear
of contact lenses provides more time for bacteria and other
pathogens to cause infection and also lowers the natural ability of the
eye to fight against infection. My number one recommendation for wearing
contact lenses is to never sleep with your contact lenses in.

Ruman Amjad

Hello, I am Dr. Ruman Amjad, an Ophthalmologist specializing in the field of eye care, particularly focused on helping individuals with swollen eyelids. I am thrilled to welcome you to Swollen-Eyelid.com, a comprehensive resource dedicated to providing accurate and reliable information on eyelid inflammation.


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