OCT 08, 2017 09:06 AM PDT

How Contacts Can Destroy Your Eyesight

WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham

In 2014, a woman in Taiwan lost her eyesight completely due to a parasitic infection caused by leaving in her contacts for six months. The frightening news made contact lens wearers everywhere reconsider their complacency when it comes to removing the contacts on a daily basis.

While leaving the contacts in for months is an extreme case, it's not uncommon for the contacts to be left in the eye for longer than intended. Some may have forgotten and accidentally went to sleep with the contacts. Some may be purposefully trying to extend the life of their contacts in order to reduce cost. Whatever the reason, doctors agree that leaving contacts in for too long poses threats to eyesight.

One doctor likens a contact lens to a kitchen sponge - both are porous and can trap bacteria. One type of bacteria that thrives between the lens and the eyeball surface is the Acanthamoeba parasite. When this parasite gets into a person's eye, it damages the cornea, which causes pain, redness, blurred vision, light sensitivity, and even blindness.

Doctors recommend removing and cleaning your contacts daily for two reasons. This allows your eyeballs to breathe in essential oxygen, while having the mucus and protein buildup washed away. Watch the video to learn more!
About the Author
  • I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
You May Also Like
JUL 09, 2018
Videos
JUL 09, 2018
How Spiders Use Electricity To Fly
Spider rains, or ballooning spiders, are a natural phenomenon believed by scientists to be caused by the silken threads of these unique insects that genera...
JUL 23, 2018
Videos
JUL 23, 2018
This is Your Brain on Yoga
Yoga is a great way to keep muscles strong, joints flexible and stress levels low.Many studies tout the benefits of yoga for relieving pain, improving rang...
AUG 01, 2018
Videos
AUG 01, 2018
Award-winning Images of Organoids From the Koch Institute
Every year, the Koch Institute at MIT shares some of the most stunning images produced at the research facility....
AUG 13, 2018
Videos
AUG 13, 2018
Is Earth Running Out of Helium?
If current global demand continues, we can face a shortage of helium within the next 40 years. Helium is the second most common element after hydrogen...
AUG 13, 2018
Videos
AUG 13, 2018
One Cell was Consumed by Another in a Evolutionary Leap
A process called endosymbiosis may have given evolution a lot of help....
AUG 17, 2018
Videos
AUG 17, 2018
Is using my computer on my lap making me infertile?
Have you ever worried about using your laptop on your lap? If you're like me, you might have wondered if all that heat coming out of your laptop's ...
Loading Comments...