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Does wearing contact lenses make your vision worse?
Medically reviewed by Alastair Lockwood on 19 January 2021
Unfortunately, vision can deteriorate as we get older and so progresses at a natural rate for some, which is neither helped nor hindered by wearing contact lenses.
Any vision deterioration is most likely to be a natural process; however, it could also be the development of a particular eye condition or disease. If you feel your vision has begun to worsen, it’s very important to seek medical advice from your optician..
Does wearing the wrong prescription make your eyes worse?
Wearing the wrong prescription can cause blurry vision, discomfort and headaches. Whilst blurry vision will not cause your vision to worsen permanently, corneal ulcers can.
Corneal ulcers are mainly caused by infections and contact lens wearers are more likely to develop corneal ulcers, especially if they over wear their contacts and have a poor contact lens hygiene.
A corneal ulcer can cause extreme pain, tearing and sensitivity to light. If you suspect that you may have a corneal ulcer, you should seek medical treatment and visit your optician/ophthalmologist immediately. They will provide you with medicated/topical antibiotic drops.
If ignored, a corneal ulcer may result in permanent scarring of the cornea which will damage your eyesight.
Is it bad to wear contacts everyday?
Some contact lenses, known as extended wear lenses, you can even sleep in, provided that they have been prescribed to you by an optician. Most contact lenses are designed to be worn for no longer than 12 hours continuously. However, the length of time for which you can wear contact lenses differs from person to person and many factors can influence the recommended wearing time, including dry eyes and working environments. Following the wearing schedule given to you by your optician will ensure that your vision will not worsen when wearing contact lenses.
Why is my vision blurry when I wear contacts?
There are several factors that can cause your vision to be blurry when you wear contacts. These range from problems that can be fixed to more severe medical issues which need to be treated seriously. Here are some reasons why you may experience blurry vision with contact lenses:
Refractive errors worsen as you get older and an outdated prescription can therefore be a common cause of blurry vision with contact lenses. Keeping up with the right prescription will ensure you see clearly for longer.
A new prescription takes time for your eyes to adjust to. If you have become accustomed to squinting or blinking in order to see better, these habits coupled with a new prescription can cause eye strain and blurry vision as a result of this.
Astigmatism can cause contact lenses to move out of place more often which can cause your vision to blur. In order to avoid this, you should talk to your optometrist or ophthalmologist about wearing toric lenses for vision correction.
Contact lenses that don't sit properly on your eye can cause blurry vision due to under correction.
These are just a few reasons as to why your vision could be blurry with contacts. Other reasons include wearing your contacts for too long, allergies, dry eyes, eye floaters, and eye infections to name but a few. Read our guide on blurry vision to find out more.
Can you wear glasses over contacts?
Many people wear prescription glasses over contacts to fix multiple eyesight issues. For example, people with presbyopia might have contact lenses to help them see in the distance and glasses for close up reading. However, there are multiple contact lens options to correct presbyopia. These are known as multifocal or bifocal contact lenses and work by blending together two or more prescriptions, allowing your eyes to focus on objects at all distances.
How safe are contact lenses?
Contact lenses are generally safe, comfortable and hygienic to wear, provided you follow a few basic guidelines on how to handle and look after your lenses.
- When applying and removing your lenses, make sure to wash and dry your hands thoroughly.
- Remember to clean and store your lenses in contact lens solution properly every night (unless they’re daily disposables, in which case you should throw them away after a day of use).
- It’s also highly recommended that you don’t wear your lenses continuously for longer than 12 hours, although some lenses are designed to last a little bit longer.
- Never sleep in your contact lenses, unless they’re designed for extended wear.
- Go for an eye test at least once every two years, or if you experience any vision issues, so you’ll be sure you’re wearing the right prescription for your eyes.
- Always remove your contact lenses before you go swimming. Water can pose a serious threat should it come in to contact with your lenses, causing inflammation and infection of the cornea. This can result in Acanthamoeba Keratitis which can lead to vison loss.
Quick links:Do I need an eye test?
Eye exams for contact lenses
How long is a contact lens prescription good for?