As two of our most precious biological commodities, our eyes require constant upkeep to ensure long-lasting, optimal performance. While a nutritious diet and proper maintenance will certainly help warrant a strong condition, there are additional precautionary measures to also keep in mind. One in particular is allowing them to breathe! Making sure our eyes receive a consistent flow of oxygen is crucial to their overall health. As you can imagine, wearing contact lenses everyday makes the process of absorbing oxygen somewhat difficult. However, understanding why oxygen is important to eye health should motivate contact wearers to lift the blanket of lenses regularly and allow air to flow through.
Our corneas maintain their transparency partly due to the fact that there is an absence of blood vessels running through them. However, with no blood vessels, our corneas do not have a blood supply of their own. This mean that the only way our corneas can receive oxygen is either through our tear film or directly from the atmosphere. It is our job to make sure our corneas are easily accessible to the atmosphere. Luckily, contact lenses like the Acuvue Advance Plus and Aucuvue Oasys for astigmatism are designed to provide top breathability.
Oxygen starvation, or hypoxia, is the term given for when there is a deficiency of oxygen flowing to the corneas. Symptoms of oxygen starvation include hazy vision, the formation of red spidery veins, and some slight discomfort. Over time, if oxygen deprivation is not treated, it can produce corneal ulceration and slight structure warping. It is important to see a professional if you start to feel like your eyes are not receiving sufficient oxygen. This may mean that you are wearing your contacts for an improper length of time, or that you might be wearing the wrong kind.
You can reduce the chance of oxygen deprivation by sticking to the wearing schedule your doctor advised and replacing them as directed. Cleaning your contacts regularly will not only help ward off oxygen starvation, but will reduce to likelihood of other eye infections; to eliminate the chore of disinfecting the lens, try Acuvue 1 Day. Furthermore, it is in good interest to refrain from wearing them while sleeping since it will speed up the process of hypoxia. Use your sleeping hours as time to let your corneas receive the oxygen they need to function at their peak potential.
For contact lens wearers, it is especially important to make sure you are doing what you can to encourage oxygen to reach your corneas, since your eyes are being blanketed with and additional layer. Luckily, oxygen starvation is curable and symptoms can be treated with topical antibiotics. Keeping your eyes in top shape by always cleaning lenses, replacing them as instructed, and refraining from wearing them for long stretches of time with also help reduce the chance of oxygen starvation. Your eyes are important tools and should always receive the best care.