There are some things we know we shouldn't do, but we do them anyway without thinking. Everybody pops zits they know they shouldn't and stays up a little too late the night before work. We all eat a delicious treat or a bag of chips instead of a healthy meal every once and awhile. If you are anything like the majority of contact wearers, you probably occasionally sleep in them. Unfortunately, this comes with severe consequences -- potentially even blindness.
One of the most common mistakes made by contact wearers is sleeping in their contacts. Studies suggest that between 50% and 87% of them are guilty of taking naps or even sleeping all night with their lenses in.
Why Is It So Bad?
For starters, your cornea needs access to oxygen, and nighttime is no exception. Your eye gets the oxygen it needs from the air surrounding your eye. Unfortunately, its access is decreased when you are wearing contacts. When you close your eyes, the supply is essentially shut off. Your cornea will begin to swell as you sleep, allowing bacteria from your contacts to seep into your eye's delicate surface. The result can be a severe eye infection.
It's also not good for your eyes to be closed against the contacts for so long. It's not good for your contacts, either. Each time you blink, you are creating a small abrasion against the lens. Not only does this wear out your contact, but it also makes your eyelid very rough. This prevents your eyelid from creating the right amount of lubrication to keep the contact lens comfortably placed on your eye.
Other Consequences of Wearing Your Lenses to Bed
Inflammation becomes a serious issue when you wear your contact lenses to bed. It is not uncommon to notice that your eyes have begun to swell during the night. If you wake up with dry, red eyes, your contacts are probably to blame.
What About Extended Wear Lenses?
If you wear extended lenses, you probably take them out just once a week for cleaning. While these lenses have been approved by the FDA, they are not necessarily the best choice if you want to avoid infection and discomfort.
What If I'm Just Taking a Short Nap?
Honestly, it really isn't a good idea. The risk of infection increases the longer you are asleep, but even a short nap can cause problems. It is much better to simply take out the lenses and not have to worry about it at all. Talk to a local eye doctor, like Jeffrey C. Fogt, OD, for more information.Share
11 December 2015
My name is Natalie Hunter. I am 29 and an elementary teacher. I created this website because I recently discovered something and wanted to share it with others. I had been suffering headaches for the past year that seemed to be gradually growing in severity. I had tried over-the-counter medications, homeopathic remedies and even made appointments with my doctor. I was given a CT scan and tried prescription medications. Finally, the doctor asked if I have had my eyes checked, as eye strain and eye issues can also cause headaches. I made an appointment with an optometrist, received a prescription for eyeglasses and suddenly, my headaches went away. It seems easy, but I had no idea. If you have headaches, I hope my website helps you understand what to expect when visiting an optometrist and how it can help with your headaches.