You Should Never, Ever Leave Your Contacts In Too Long — Just Ask This Woman

Nov 17, 2016

Our lives just seem to get busier all the time, which can make it hard to remember the simple things we need to do to care for ourselves.

After hearing Meabh McHugh-Hill’s story, however, you’ll definitely remember to look after your contact lenses. The 23-year-old woman left her contacts in for 10 hours, just two hours more than the recommended maximum, but the results were nightmarish.

Like most 20-somethings, McHugh-Hill leads a high-energy life.


And one simple oversight led to something hellish. When McHugh-Hill tried to remove her left contact lens one night, she found it was stuck to her eyeball. While removing it, she tore her cornea.


The student often had dry eyes, which she treated with eyedrops, but even that wasn’t enough.


The cornea tear made her left eye red and caused it to clamp shut, while her right eye became very sensitive to light.

She spent five days sitting in darkness before daylight stopped hurting her eyes, but she knows it could have been so much worse. “I was so, so lucky. I could have lost my sight. I just didn’t realize how dangerous wearing contact lenses could be if your eyes are not moistened,” she said.


McHugh-Hill will never be able to wear contacts again, must always wear glasses to prevent further damage, and has a permanent scar on her cornea. She’s also ineligible for laser eye surgery due to the scarring. Doctors say she’s lucky because she could have lost her sight entirely.


If you wear contact lenses, be make sure you follow the recommended care instructions from your optometrist, even if you really just want to go to bed or leave them in a little bit longer. Doing so could save you a world of hurt!


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