Has your doctor warned you about this danger of prolonged contact lens wear?

True story: After an exhausting day, April dragged herself to the bathroom. Standing before the mirror, she began her nightly ritual of removing her contact lenses.

Her eyes began to sting and water. It wasn’t just the discomfort that alarmed April. When she looked around the room, everything was reduced to hazy, indistinct shapes. It was as if someone had placed a filter over her eyes. April knew how the world looked when she didn’t have her lenses on, but this fogginess was foreign and disturbing.

The next day, April booked the earliest appointment with an eye specialist. After a battery of tests, the doctor ruled out glaucoma and retinal detachment, and concluded that April had probably hurt her corneas — the clear, outer layer of the eyes — while removing the contact lenses. She was sent home with antibiotics, lubricating eye drops, and the assurance that her eyes should heal within a few days.

One week passed, and then two. April’s vision remained blurry. In fact, it took nearly three months for the ‘fog’ to lift. For a time, she wondered if she would ever see clearly again. It turned out that April’s corneas were unable to heal as quickly as healthy ones typically do. Years of prolonged contact lens wear had, in her doctor’s words, “starved” her eyes of oxygen.

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