Wearing Contacts Following a Collapse

Can You Wear Contacts in a SHTF? – What Are the Risks If You Do?


I recently had a conversation with a guy that wears contacts. He has been prepping for several years and has close to a year of food and a couple hundred gallons of water stored, but he only had one pair of glasses. Those glasses weren’t even a current prescription. They were over three years old!

Before I had corrective surgery on my eyes, I was completely useless without glasses or contacts. There are very few things more important than your ability to see in a post-collapse environment. If you wear contacts, make sure you have a couple pairs of glasses available as well!

Contacts in a Post Collapse Environment

Following a collapse or even an extended disaster, it is not going to be a good idea to wear contact lenses. This isn’t something that people think about very often. Of course, if you’re a prepper that wears contacts then it should be something you take into account. Even those that think about it don’t always have a current pair of glasses available, let alone multiple pairs in case one pair gets scratched, breaks or gets lost.

Even today, when hygiene and sanitation aren’t compromised, eye infections are common among contact wearers. Following a significant event, when maintaining good hygiene and sanitation are much more difficult, a number of infections a contact lens wearer would experience would skyrocket.

Most people are not going to have access to the types of antibiotics that are needed to quickly counter an eye infection before it gets out of control. Many types of eye infections will clear up on their own, but many can also lead to permanent vision impairment. Wearing contacts in that type of environment just isn’t worth it.

Common Eye Infections Among Contact Lens Wearers


Can you wear contacts in a shtf

Keratitis is caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi or parasites and causes inflammation of the cornea. Treatment for bacterial keratitis is normally done with antibacterial eye drops.

For viruses and fungal infections, an eye drop and an oral medication are used.

Parasitic keratitis can be difficult to treat, even with access to modern medication, as the parasite that causes it is resistant to many modern medications.

If keratitis cannot be treated or is allowed to go untreated, it leads to scarring of the cornea and impaired vision. Extreme cases will cause loss of vision.


Can You Wear Contacts Following a SHTF EventConjunctivitis is caused by bacteria or viruses and affects the lining of the eyelid and the white portion of your eye. It can be extremely contagious and is easily spread from person to person. Normally conjunctivitis will clear up on its own. Antibiotics can be used to treat the infection and are normally prescribed by today’s doctors.

If it doesn’t clear up on its own and is left untreated, it can cause scarring on the cornea and lead to permanent vision impairment. Vision impairment is very rare but the simple possibility of having your vision

The bottom line is you shouldn’t wear contacts following a collapse if at all possible. Have several pairs of glasses available. If you can afford to have laser eye surgery, I would highly recommend it!

Be sure to check out our article on using animal antibiotics in a SHTF. Medications that are readily available for fish and other animals can be stored and used to cure infractions such as these.

6 thoughts on “Can You Wear Contacts in a SHTF? – What Are the Risks If You Do?”

  1. Every time I get a new pair of glasses, I take my old ones and wrap them in bubble wrap and store them in a small box. I mark the date I stopped wearing them. Even glasses a couple of prescription back will enable you to see most things. You may not be able to read 6 point type but in an EOTW situation, you won’t be reading many contracts. You may not be able to make out who it is at 100 yards, but you will be able to see a person and even hit them with iron sights if you have to. In addition, your old glasses may enable someone whose glasses have been destroyed to see again. I have never worn contacts, but I sure hope I would remember sticking 27 of them in my eye without removing one.

    1. That’s a good idea that other people can learn from. Some ability to see is way better than being blind.

      I can’t recommend having Lazik or PRK enough. It’s expensive but it’s totally worth it if you can have it done.

  2. Another comment. Sometimes we break a blood vessel in our eye. The results are a bloodshot eye that looks far worse than it is. I can’t tell you how to tell the difference between a broken blood vessel and either of the diseases listed above. We can break a blood vessel in our eye by sneezing or sometimes by straining at some task. It almost always resolves itself with no treatment within a few days. My wife broke a blood vessel in her eye and some of the blood drained down into the tissue below her eye. She had a severely red eye and a large bruise under her eye. She really looked like someone had struck her in her eye. Good think we have known the eye doctor for more than twenty years, otherwise I think I might have been answering some tough questions by the local police because medical personnel are required to report suspected spousal abuse in this state.

  3. I wear my contacts 24/7. Sometime the same pair for over a year. Unless I get an eye lash or dirt requiring a cleaning, the less I handle them the longer they last. On occasion I’ve had to rinse a contact in my mouth and put it back in. In the twenty years I”ve been doing this, I’ve only once had pink eye, from working in a day care briefly, that was cured quick and easily with a homeopathic cure from our ancestors. Will I have backup pairs of glasses? Of course, But i won’t give up my contacts.

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