How Much Oxygen Does Your Eye Need?

The vast majority of your body gets oxygen from your blood vessels, but the eye is one of the major exceptions. The cornea relies on tears and air to get the nutrients it needs to function. If you’re wondering how much oxygen the eye needs, especially if you’re a chronic contact-wearer, we’ll look at what you should know. 

Measuring Oxygen Levels 

There’s no official unit of oxygen that can be applied to everyone, which may make your adjustments a bit of an inexact science. The good news is that there are steps that you can take to improve oxygen delivery to the eyes, including artificial tears and seeing your eye doctor in Elkridge, MD, regularly. 

If you’re wearing contacts, here are a few factors to keep in mind:

  • Permeability: Lenses that are silicone hydrogel (sometimes labeled as Dk/t) are designed to allow more oxygen to move through the lens to the cornea. 
  • Schedule: It’s easy to forget that you’re wearing contacts or be too tired to take them out. However, failing to stick to a schedule can damage your eyes if you’re not careful. Following your doctor’s instructions and staying consistent is incredibly important to protecting your vision. 
  • Cleaning: If your lenses are dirty, this can impact the flow of oxygen. Keep in mind that debris may not cause you any pain or problems with your vision, but that doesn’t mean it’s not there. Make sure you’re properly cleaning and storing your lenses with the right solution. 
  • Breaks: Giving your eyes a rest during the day can make a big difference in your oxygen levels. Even if you’re not sleeping in your contact lenses in Elkridge, MD (which you should be avoiding anyway), wearing your glasses at night or in the morning can help your eyes ‘breathe’ more freely. 

Visit Your Eye Doctor in Elkridge, MD

A lack of oxygen to the eyes can result in corneal swelling and an eventual intolerance to contact lenses. It can also result in new blood vessels in the cornea, ones that can eventually leak and lead to vision loss. If you’re concerned about oxygen levels in your eye, contact Dr. Jan Eye Care to learn more about what you can do to avoid larger problems down the line. 

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