For those of us who grew up wearing glasses, the day we could start wearing contacts was a day for the history books. I remember that I was in seventh grade, I felt like the star of a back-to-school episode of Degrassi, and I vowed never again to return to my purple bifocals (within a few years I absolutely did, but that's another story). But what few people tell you is just how annoying contact lenses can be. So what happens if you don't change your contact lenses enough? Well, nothing good, I'll tell you that much.
In today's optometry landscape, most people rely on a combination of contact lenses and physical glasses, providing them with variety and flexibility. But only within the past half-century have contacts hit the mainstream market. Because of their relative newness — daily disposable lenses only arrived in 1995 — and their immense ease, contacts are primed for misuse. And that misuse, unfortunately, can come with some serious side effects.
Even though glasses have been making a serious comeback — I'm in shock at the number of cute frames I can afford now, as opposed to the very bleak eye glasses landscape that was the early '90s — more than 30 million people still wear contact lenses in the United States, according to the CDC. Most of us are guilty of over-wearing our lenses, and the consequences can be grim. Here's what could happen if you don't change them when you're supposed to.