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sjmc1989's avatar

I'm an idiot who wore their contacts way to much! Now I think I have done some damage. What should I do?

Asked by sjmc1989 (5472 points ) December 21st, 2009

Ok so I wear my contacts way too much and I used to not even take them out when I went to bed I still fall asleep in them sometimes. I stopped doing this because my eyes would be so dry in the morning and they would hurt. For the past week one of my eyes have been hurting really bad. I tried to wear glasses when I could, but now I can’t open my eye too wide because if too much air hits the side of my eye I have excruciating pain. Its red and hurts constantly now. Am I going to go blind?? Do I need surgery?? An eye patch?? If someone has experinced this please tell me what my next step should be my contacts are out now by the way Thank you to anyone that can help!

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22 Answers

lonelydragon's avatar

You may have scratched your cornea. You should visit your eye doctor ASAP so s/he can recommend the best treatment.

philosopher's avatar

See an Eye Doctor .

sjmc1989's avatar

Problem is and should have said this in the question I don’t have eye insurance anymore. Do you think it will be expensive? I’m an unemployed student right now so money might be a problem

Kelly_Obrien's avatar

Take them out!!! (the contacts, not your eyes).

sjmc1989's avatar

They have been out, and I’m considering clawing out my eyes anyway! I hurt :(

dpworkin's avatar

Speak immediately to an ophthalmologist (not an optician or an optometrist)

Kelly_Obrien's avatar

Optive is a very gentle eyewash and helped me with my hurting eyes a few months ago.

sjmc1989's avatar

@pdworkin Oh goodness an ophthalmologist sounds like I might be starving this week…

dpworkin's avatar

It really doesn’t make sense to be worried about cost when your vision might be at stake. Money comes and goes; you only get one pair of eyes.

mclaugh's avatar

i have the same problem.. i try putting in some visine every 4 hours even if it hurts and it takes some of the redness away. i also put a washcloth with cold water over my eyes.. it feels nice and doesnt make me wanna claw my eyes out as much.

aanuszek1's avatar

This happened to a friend of mine. He was very careless about taking our his contacts before bed, and general care. He had what he explained to me as a Corneal Abrasion, which is pretty much a scratch on the surface of your eye. There are a lot of nerve endings in the eye, which would explain your pain. A quick google search pointed me to this website for home remedies and over the counter treatments, such as rinsing your eyes with water, buying artificial tears, and taking lots of Tylenol. Don’t think about putting your contacts in for atleast two months. You should try to take it easy as far as reading and driving go.

But, I completely agree with pdworkin. You only get two eyes, take care of them. See a doctor immediately. An doctor can prescribe antibiotic drops which will help speed up the healing process.

sjmc1989's avatar

@pdworkin Ok your right. I can’t make it through my course of study without eyes…well maybe I could, but thats besides the point.

Taciturnu's avatar

@lonelydragon is probably right that it’s a scratched cornea, but you should go see your eye doctor to be sure.

sevenfourteen's avatar

I did this just a few weeks ago. I fell asleep with a slightly worn pair of contacts in and when I woke up I couldn’t even open my eyes. When I did get them open and the contacts out I was in soooo much pain. I was in pain for about 4 days and my eyes looked horrible. Sunlight was the worst part, I had to keep my room dark and couldn’t stop crying when the light got in. I went to the dr. and he put this crazzzzzy dye in my eyes that was neon green and then looked at my eyes under a black light to check for scratches. He said I had no scratches but gave me meds to help anyways.

I learned my lesson, now I take them out before I even plan to go to bed to relax my eyes and give them rest before sleeping. You should probably get them checked, but just because they hurt does not mean they’re damaged, possibly just irritated. You can go to the emergency room (which is free), an opthomologist will charge a pretty penny. And quit while you’re ahead- contacts can ruin your vision if you misuse them.

Basically while you sleep your cornea swells slightly and theres basically a layer of fluid that builds up. When you wake up that feeling you get when your vision is blurry and your eyes are slightly puffy is because of this. When you wake up and open your eyes oxygen gets in which decreases this fluid (this is also why you tear in the morning). With your contact in it suffocates the cornea and basically causes a big mess.

Supacase's avatar

It sounds like a medical issue at this point, not an eyesight correction. I would go to your regular doctor and ask for a medical referral to an ophthalmologist. I know it is a thin line, but the way I see it I would get medical insurance-approved treatment if someone poked me in the eye with a stick. It is worth a try anyway.

mcbealer's avatar

I have been wearing contacts for about 25 years, and wore them 24/7 for about 15 years of that time. Basically I always made excuses and failed to take them out before bed for one reason or another. Since I am nearly legally blind and didn’t own any glasses for much of that time, it became a poor health habit that was very hard to break.

During that time I had to deal with several pink eye infections and also developed a mild case of GPC (giant papillary conjunctivitis.) This meant I couldn’t wear them at all – doctor’s orders. I was fortunate that all of these infections cleared up in time, with no permanent effect on my vision. Bad habits are tough to break though, and eventually I returned to wearing them 24/7.

The only reason I was able to stop is that my doctor basically gave me an ultimatum. My eyes had continued to get progressively more bloodshot and during a routine eye exam for a new script she told me that because I had deprived my eyes of oxygen for so long, I had grown permanent blood vessels along the surface of my cornea. She also said that eventually these vessels would alter the shape of my eye, making it impossible to ever wear contacts again.

It’s been a few years since then, and I’m happy to say I hardly ever wear them to bed anymore. If I do I definitely feel the pressure @sevenfourteen described above, and it’s pretty excrutiating. There’s nothing worse than the feeling of a contact adhered to your eyeball, and having to peel it off. ugh!

Since your eyes are already at a higher risk for developing an infection due to your long wearing schedule you might want to check with your doctor about possibly switching to a contact lense that has a more permeable surface. I have found Acuvue Oasys to be very comfortable.

toomuchcoffee911's avatar

@sjmc1989 So how did this all work out?

robmandu's avatar

< < wears contact lenses for a month at a time, never taking them out but to put in a brand new pair.

sjmc1989's avatar

Update: My eyes are still bothering me, but not to the extent they were. I am just wearing my contacts a couple of hours during the day and take them out every night. I am going to go to my eye doctor once my insurance issue is finally settled and I can get an appointment they are always booked. Thank you all for you answers!

@robmandu How long have you been wearing contacts? Do your eyes constantly burn? Just curious :)

robmandu's avatar

My opthamologist recommended Ciba Vision Night & Day contact lenses to me a few years ago.

They are the first FDA-approved contact lenses for month-long wear. The big thing was breathability. These contacts allow 5x more oxygen to reach my eye than the older contacts I had (which required taking them out each and every nite).

Point is, talk to your opthamologist. Tell him what you want. There are many, many options on the market and new technology being introduced all the time.

Oh… and I now save money by going to an opthamologist instead of an optometrist. The optometrists I was seeing required a minimum number of visits every year even with nothing wrong. The opthamologist, on the other hand, takes my experience with wearing contacts into consideration with scheduling visits… and as a result, I go much less frequently now (once a year).

avvooooooo's avatar

@robmandu I have the same ones. I loooooovvvveee them.

@sjmc1989 My vision is so bad, -7.5 in my right eye and -8 in my other, that just glasses are almost a bad idea. After I spent almost my entire freshman year in college in glasses (I got some cute ones and couldn’t be bothered to put my contacts in), my ophthalmologist got me on the night and day contacts. I probably end up wearing them for longer than I should, but then again my eyes are pretty good at telling me when they need to come out. In addition, I’ve had some stys (not related to the contacts so much, some people are just prone, I got them when I was wearing glasses too) and my ophthalmologist has started writing me a prescription for what I need on my yearly visit because he knows that I have had enough of these things to recognize a sty when its forming and can treat it and get over it sooner if I don’t have to go through the whole getting an appointment thing so he can tell me what I already know. Point is, if you talk to your doctor and tell him what you need, he’ll most likely work with you.

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