Have you wondered how long does it take to heal, and allow you to wear contact lens again?
The short answer is, it depends.
The long answer is, the time to heal is dependent on the layers of cornea that is affected.
The outter layer is the corneal epithelium, middler layer is the stroma, and the bottom layer is the endothelium.
If the bottom part of the epithelium (basement membrane) is intact, the entire corneal epithelium regenerates in 7-14 days. In a minor contact lens overwear or infection, once the contact lenses are removed, and the infection/ulcer is treated, the epithelium can heal within the 14 days. You can wear your contact lens again after those days.
If basement memberane of the epithelum is affected, corneal healing can take longer.
Complete healing of the basement memberane can take approximately 8 weeks. Those are also the times you want to avoid contact lens wear.
However, if the stroma is damaged, it may lead to new collagen growth, but that also leads to scarring, and clarity or vision is affected. This is at the point of no return of deteriated vision.
When you have a contact lens related red eye, or other eye injury and infections, it's always great to check with the Optometrist early to prevent deeper layer damage, treat the infection or ulcer, and to see when you are a good contact lens candidate again.
(Reference, Dr. Kyle M. cheatham, OD)
Dr. Yan L. Liang, OD
Contact Warden Optometry to book your contact lens consult.