Contact Lenses: 6 Myths (And Their Facts)
Can you wear contact lenses overnight (and other answers you need to know)
Did you know 1 in 2000 contact lens wearers suffers from a sight-threatening infection? But when it comes to LASIK, just 1 in every 10,000 patients risk significant vision loss from complications.
While contact lenses can be a good vision correction solution for many people, research shows that, in the long run, LASIK actually delivers better vision than contacts.
It’s easy to see why so many people who wear glasses and contacts eventually opt for LASIK as a permanent solution. LASIK is maintenance-free. Once you’ve had the procedure, you lower your risk of eye infections and you free yourself up to activities and experiences that were never available to you before.
Let’s clear up some of the most common myths about contact lenses:
Myth: Contact lenses are 100 percent safe.
Fact: Not entirely. People who wear contact lenses daily have a one in one-hundred risk of developing bacterial infections, sometimes known as microbial keratitis. While this is a small percentage of people, this infection can lead to a loss of vision, so even a small risk can be a big deal. People who abuse contacts by wearing them overnight or improperly caring for them increase this risk.
Myth: You can sleep in your contacts.
Fact: Despite improvements in extended wear contact lenses, wearing them while you sleep carries a greater risk of complications than if you remove lenses daily. Exposure to smoke, wearing your contacts when swimming, and previous eye irritations or infections increase complication risk factors for extended wear contact lenses.
Myth: Contact lenses are the best solution for active lifestyles.
Fact: Contacts can be a major hindrance to active lifestyles, especially if you play sports that involve sand, snow, or dirt. Exposure to these elements can cause eye damage or infection.
Myth: It’s OK to wear contact lenses for water sports.
Fact: The FDA has not approved contact lenses for use in swimming, surfing, or water sports. In fact, they warn people to avoid exposing their contacts to any water.
Myth: Contact lenses are fine for sports on land.
Fact: Contact lenses can cause problems with many sports, not just water sports. Skiers and snowboarders suffer from glare when wearing contacts. Hikers, backpackers, and mountain bikers need to be concerned about dirt and dust contaminating their contacts – not to mention the need to carry contact lens products along with their other gear.
Myth: If I don’t have an active lifestyle, I’ll be fine with contacts.
Fact: There are many kinds of active lifestyles and not all of them involve sports. For example, mothers of young children are usually very active – and they may not have time to take proper care of their contacts.
Contacts are a popular choice for obvious reasons. They’re disposable, they’re easier than glasses, and they’re fairly cheap. However, if you find your contacts are no longer comfortable or no longer support your lifestyle, it may be time to think about LASIK.
For a thorough evaluation of your eyes and to decide if LASIK is an option for your vision goals, schedule a free consultation below.
(source: American Refractive Surgery Council)