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The Effects of Wearing Wrong Prescription Contacts

author image Kate Beck
Kate Beck started writing for online publications in 2005. She worked as a certified ophthalmic technician for 10 years before returning to school to earn a Masters of Fine Arts degree in writing. Beck is currently putting the finishing touches on a novel.
The Effects of Wearing Wrong Prescription Contacts
Wearing the wrong prescription contact lenses may cause blurry vision. Photo Credit sjenner13/iStock/Getty Images


Contact lenses are an option for people who need a prescription for better vision but do not want to rely on eyeglasses every day. However, contact lenses require more than the prescription for correcting vision. The eye doctor must also measure the shape of the eye in order to prescribe the proper fit of lenses. A person should know the effects of wearing the wrong contact lenses to help her watch for signs that she may have the wrong prescription.

Blurry Vision

One of the most common effects of wearing the wrong contact lens prescription is blurry vision. Since contacts are meant to improve vision, the wrong prescription will typically cause impairment in a person’s vision. In some cases, a person with poor vision may notice a slight improvement in vision, even with the incorrect prescription. However, vision will not be clear. Wearing the incorrect vision prescription will not cause vision to worsen, but a person may experience eye strain and headaches as an effect of the wrong prescription.


The front of the eye, called the cornea, may have a slightly different shape for many people. Wearing the wrong prescription contact lens may feel uncomfortable. Also, the ill-fitting lens may move around, possibly scratching the eye’s surface. If the lens fits too tightly over the cornea, it may not receive nourishment from the tears that protectively coat the eye. A tight-fitting lens may lessen or eliminate the amount of tears under the lens, causing irritation and blurry vision. Extended use may eventually lead to a corneal infection.

Corneal Ulcers

Corneal ulcers may also result from wearing an incorrect prescription. A corneal ulcer is an infection of the cornea, and will typically cause severe eye pain, tearing and light sensitivity. If a person experiences these symptoms, she should stop wearing the contact lenses and seek an evaluation from an eye doctor. The doctor may prescribe one or more eye drops to treat the infection. However, if a person does not seek treatment, she may experience permanent scarring of the cornea, and this will likely result in vision changes.

Decorative Contact Lenses

Decorative contact lenses are sometimes worn to change the color or look of the eyes. These lenses are non-prescription, however there is still risk of infection and problems caused by improper fit. In addition, people who are not trained to put in these lenses may cause physical damage to the eye. An eye doctor should be consulted prior to the use of decorative contact lenses.

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