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ShaChris23's avatar

My friend wore contact lenses for 8 months. Is this safe?

Asked by ShaChris23 (318 points ) February 8th, 2013

A good friend of mine told me that he once wore his bi-weekly contact lenses for 8 months straight without ever taking them off. A workaholic, he’s kept up this habit of wearing them days at a time, but that 8 months was his breaking record.

He said he felt fine because:
1) His eyes were less prone to dryness than most other people, e.g. he thought his eyes were more watery.
2) Additionally, he joked that he was born with a tougher pair of eyes, hence an exception to the rules.
3) Lastly, he believed that his not being an overly clinical, clean person has built immunity in him, as he rarely got sick.

My question is, is his practice of extended contact lens wear safe? If it is not safe, how come he hasn’t suffered any? Could it be true that his eyes are more watery (and tough, and immune to germs, haha) than others? I tried wearing my daily contacts for two days straight, removing them at the second night. By my third morning, I woke up with stinging, sensitive eyes.

Thank you for any input!

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8 Answers

Shippy's avatar

I am no expert. However I do believe there are factors like protein build up and lack of oxygen transmission through membranes when wear lenses for extended periods. He may have gotten away with it. But personally I wouldn’t try it. You get one set of eyes. No second chances.

tedibear's avatar

One of my best friends is an eye doctor and she would tell you that he has been lucky so far. No, his practice is not safe. Has it been done without repercussion? Sure, but so has speeding excessively when driving. That doesn’t make it safe.

As for what you experienced, you and your friend are not wearing the same kind of contacts. His extended wear lenses are thinner and made to let in more air and moisture. Your daily wear are not meant to be worn constantly. Again, that doesn’t mean that people don’t do it, it’s just not safe.

Seek's avatar

I bought a pair of extended-wear contacts once. The 10 days-then-throw-them-away kind.

First night I slept with them on, I woke up, opened my eyes, and scratched the eff out of my cornea. That is some fresh hell, I will tell you.

Not the best way to find out that you have Chronic Dry-Eye.

KNOWITALL's avatar

It is not recommended, HOWEVER, you also don’t have to use 30 day contacts for only 30 days, that’s how the company makes their money.

For myself, I use my 30 day contacts until they feel dirty or I notice my vision blurring or have any eye irritation at all (usually 60–90 days no more than that), then I put in the new ones. I don’t sleep in mine either, and use glasses sometimes when I’m lazy.

The most important thing is to keep the saline fresh and scrub the lenses. I’ve wore contacts since 7th grade and had no problems ever, actually my eyesight has improved.

wundayatta's avatar

Did he go for eight months without even taking them out at night? Or did he use two week contact lens for 8 months, taking them out at night?

If he never took them out at night, then that is an extraordinary claim. Everyone I know who ever slept with contacts in for just one night has a horror story to tell. I can’t believe you could go 240 days straight without ever taking out contacts. So he must have taken them out at night.

Then I can believe they might have lasted 8 months. He may not have noticed the deterioration of the blurred vision.

But as other said, this is not a healthy practice. You’re asking for eye problems if you do this, and who knows, he may yet run into problems because of what he did.

15barcam's avatar

It’s perfectly possible that he has really great eyes for contacts, but even so he probably shouldn’t leave them in for 8 months. If he hasn’t had any problems though, good for him! He’s saving a hell of a lot of money on contact lenses.

ShaChris23's avatar

@wundayatta He did not take them off AT ALL for 8 months. 240 days, day and night, as you mentioned. You have to know him to believe it.. It’s not something one brags about.

Although, I can’t wait to hear news for his upcoming eye exam. Will update you all later on this.

sebb's avatar

Tell your friend to start shopping for a white cane now because if he keeps wearing contacts like he’s doing, he will need it. A 23 year old Taiwanese women wore hers for 6 months straight, got a bacterial infection under the lenses and the microbes that were eating the bacteria ate her corneas and lenses and she is now blind. So tell your friend he is playing Russian roulette with a fully loaded gun!

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