Uh oh, you woke up from sleep to discover you fell into a deep slumber before removing your contacts. But just how bad is it really to sleep in contact lenses? You may enjoy the look of contacts over eyeglasses, and they’re typically very safe to wear. But when you’re not wearing them safely, you can end up in a mess of health hazards. If you’ve done it before you may just change your mind after reading.
Can I Sleep in My Contacts?
The short and long of it is — no, you should never sleep in your contacts. Wearing contacts for extended periods of time is alright, as long as you plan on taking them out at some point before you call it a night. Believe it or not, your eyes receive oxygen directly from surrounding air. When you’re wearing contact lenses for too long, it can cause oxygen deprivation, essentially starving your eyes of oxygen until you remove them.
What Happens if You Sleep in Your Contacts
Sleeping in your contact lenses makes you unaware of oncoming symptoms of oxygen deprivation. Symptoms can be severe, such as:
- Having painful, irritated, or blurry vision: You may not realize while you’re asleep, but your contacts may very well be causing abrasions to the cornea as you move your eyes during REM sleep.
- Red eye or overgrowth of blood vessels: These are two different symptoms but they both point to the same When your eyes are red, it may look as though you’ve been crying when you haven’t. Overgrown blood vessels will try to take over oxygenation when you’ve cut off the regular supply to your cornea with lenses.
- Pronounced light sensitivity: Sleeping in your contacts may lead to an intolerance of bright lights or even corneal ulcers, in severe These are open sores on the cornea that can become infected if not treated.
What to Do if You Sleep in Your Contacts
If you’ve slept the night away wearing your contacts, and you feel you’re suffering from one or more of the above symptoms, first, use eye drops to help moisten your eyes. The contacts may easily come out afterwards, in which case, you may remove them.
If it is still difficult or too painful to do so, seek help from our eye doctor, Dr. Erin Weston, right away. Your contacts are likely be severely dry and painful to remove. It’s unsafe to attempt to forcefully remove them, as you could unintentionally scratch the cornea.
Recovering from oxygen deprivation can be quick if there was little damage. A medical eye exam reveals to Dr. Weston how severe the inflammation has become, and whether there are any signs of ulcers. You may receive topical medication to treat your symptoms, and we will recommend you stop wearing contacts for a period of time while your eyes heal.
Get Answers to Your Contact Questions and Contact Lens Fitting from Our Eye Doctor in Boca Raton
Thinking about the switch to contact lenses? They are typically a very safe alternative to glasses as long as you follow proper use guidelines. We offer contact lens fittings and fit you to the perfect pair, answering any questions you might have. Contact We Are Eyes in Boca Raton today at (561) 912-3211 to schedule your fitting.