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What Happens When You Wear Your Contacts Too Long?

Did you know that about 45 million people in the United States wear contact lenses?

With so many people wearing contacts and being comfortable with them, it’s no surprise that there can be confusion about safe practices.

The question is: how long can you wear contacts without causing damage to your eyes or the lenses? Keep reading to learn the scoop to keep your eyes safe.

How Long Can You Wear Contacts?

Whether you just went to a site and ordered your brand new pair of contacts or you’re a long time contact user it’s always good to know what’s safe and what’s not. 

Before we dive in it’s important to keep in mind that every set of contacts comes with its own set of recommendations and guidelines. Make sure to read the packaging box thoroughly and follow their instructions.

Some contacts are meant to be worn for an extended period of time and others are made to be disposed of quicker. In most cases the longer you wear your contacts the higher the risk of an eye infection.


There are a few risks associated with wearing your contacts for too long or longer than your contacts manufacturer recommends. You run the risk of chronic inflammation in your eyes which in turn will lead to not being able to wear contacts in the future.

You also run the risk of getting an open sore in the outer layer of the cornea of the eye. This infection is not only uncomfortable but it can also run the risk of escalating into something worse.

When you leave your contacts in for too long you can also damage cells that you need in order to have good vision while you’re wearing your contacts. 

Mainly you don’t want to run the risk of having any type of infection in the eye area. This can quickly escalate into something that will make you regret leaving your contacts in longer than what was recommended by the manufacturer of your lenses.

Safety Tips

A few safety tips to help you have the best vision include:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and make sure to dry them with a towel that’s lint free before you pick up your lenses
  • Only use sterile contact lens solution that’s formulated to clean your contacts
  • NEVER use water to clean your contact lenses because it can create the perfect source for microorganisms to grow
  • NEVER wear your contact lenses after they have expired
  • Unless your eye doctor prescribed for your lenses to be worn overnight – DO NOT DO IT

Following the above tips along with not wearing your contact lenses to the point of infection will help you maintain your vision and not run into any type of eye emergency.

Healthy Eyes Will Thank You

After learning how long can you wear contacts your eyes will remain healthy and will thank you for not overwearing your lenses. The last thing you want is unhealthy eyes or an emergency visit to the eye doctor because you suddenly can’t see.

Make sure to ALWAYS follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to avoid wearing your contact lenses too long. 

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