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Why you really should replace your contacts regularly

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Over wear of contact lenses is extremely common. So, what’s the harm? Well the risk of getting Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis (GPC) for one.

GPC is largely caused by lens over wear (extending lenses past the suggested wear schedule and not taking contact lenses out on a regular basis). This eye condition makes the inner surface of the eyelid irritated and inflamed forming large, painful bumps on the underside of the eyelid. They are not attractive!

GPC can appear even after wearing contacts successfully for many years with no problems.

To prevent GPC and other contact lens related problems, follow these best practices:

  • Clean your lenses properly every time you take them out.
  • Replace your lenses in a timely fashion (that means replacing them when your eye doctor has advised you to).
  • Do not sleep in your lenses (unless otherwise advised by your eye doctor).
  • Use only fresh, sterile solution for cleaning and storing your lenses.
  • Have an eye health exam and contact lens fit every year to be sure that your eyes are still healthy enough to wear contact lenses without complications and to check for prescription changes.
  • Do not wear your contact lenses when you’re sick or when your eyes feel irritated
  • If you experience discomfort or irritation, remove your contact lenses immediately and call your optometrist.
  • Try and give your eyes 18-20 hours of awake contact lens-free time a week. Your eyes need open eye oxygen exposure to breathe and remain healthy.


Written by Dr. Joseph Rich

Dr. Joseph D. Rich moved to Columbia shortly after completing his doctorate at Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, TN. Growing up and completing his undergraduate work in biology, chemistry, and business management at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg, MO, Dr. Rich considers himself a full-fledged Mizzou fan and actively enjoys going to as many games as possible.
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