It’s a common question asked by nap lovers. Eye doctors say it’s not a great idea to sleep while wearing contacts. Even napping with contact lenses in your eyes can lead to irritation or damage. When you sleep with your contacts in, your corneas can’t get the oxygen they need to fight off germs. That can lead to infections and other serious eye health conditions we’ve outlined for you below. Although those last minutes leading up to your much-needed nap feel like you’re dragging lead shoes, it’s important to grab your case and remove your contacts before your head hits the pillow.
How can sleeping in contacts hurt your eyes?
Here are three serious risks associated with sleeping in contact lenses:
1. Hypoxia of the eye
According to The National Center for Biotechnology Information
, corneal hypoxia can be experienced by individuals using contact lenses. The affected eye can suffer a range of issues from mere annoyance to a disabling condition that results in permanent ocular damage or loss of the eye. Guess what? The condition is frequently caused by sleeping in contacts, which keeps oxygen from reaching the cornea.
2. Corneal ulcers
American Academy of Ophthalmology
confirms contact lens wearers are highly vulnerable to developing a corneal ulcer. Due to irritation and rubbing of the eye, the contact wearer can damage the outer layer of the cornea, allow bacteria to enter the eye. How can you avoid it? Wash your hands before handling your contacts and avoid sleeping in your contacts, which can lead to unconsciously rubbing your eyes.
Keratitis is the irritation of eye tissue. This one is serious and can even lead to blindness according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Symptoms come on fast and require medical attention right away. You’re not going to believe this, but wearing contact lenses for too long can cause keratitis. So, it may be best to give your eyes a rest and take out your contacts before you snooze.
Can you sleep in 30-day contacts?
Some contact lenses are designed for extended wear. They’re thinner and allow an increased amount of oxygen to reach the cornea, lowering the risk of infection. You’ll want to ask your doctor for contact lenses approved for continuous wear and confirm whether they recommend sleeping with them in.
Our conclusion - Talk to your doctor
When in doubt, you should always follow a product’s instructions and your doctor’s advice. Wear contacts for the recommended amount of time and keep them clean. Unless your doctor has said otherwise, take them out when it’s time for bed.
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