Is it Dangerous to Sleep in Contact Lenses?
Making the switch from prescription eyeglasses to contact lenses provides many benefits including functional versatility, greater stability and a wider field of vision. The greatest advantage to wearing contact lenses over glasses is seamless vision correction. Because contact lenses sit directly on the surface of the eye and move with the eyes, visual disruptions that block peripheral vision or cause reflection or add smudges or fogginess to an otherwise clear view are eliminated.
When you learn how to use contact lenses initially, your eye doctor at Skyline Vision Clinic will provide instructions on how to put them in and take them out as well as how to clean and store your contact lenses. Just as important as wearing contact lenses to correct refractive errors so that you can see clearly is taking them out to allow your eyes the chance to breathe. Wearing contacts can deprive the cornea of oxygen. The cornea receives oxygen from air during the day and from the blood vessels in the eyelid at night. The cornea requires oxygen and hydration. Without enough oxygen, the cells in the cornea are unable to fight bacteria effectively. Pollutants from the day can get trapped under the lenses and combined with closed eyelids over the contact lens and the reduced movement of the eye and eyelid, bacterial infections can begin to grow. For this reason, it is dangerous to sleep in contact lenses. Low amounts of oxygen or the elimination of oxygen to the cornea during the nighttime hours can lead to eye infections or vision impairment. A person is up to 8 times more likely to get an eye infection because of sleeping in contact lenses. Conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye, keratitis and corneal neovascularization can develop because contact lenses were not removed before sleeping.
Do not be alarmed if you accidentally forget to take your contact lenses out. If you have fallen asleep with your contacts still in, remove them as soon as you can. They will likely be dry and may require several drops of sterile contact solution to help remove them. If possible, wear prescription eyeglasses instead of contacts for a day or so to help relieve the eyes. If you notice signs of infection, such as blurred vision, discharge from one or both eyes, redness, and excess watering of the eyes, contact your eye doctor.
To learn more about caring for your eyes with contact lenses or to set up an appointment for a contact lens fitting or prescription diagnosis, call Skyline Vision Clinic at 719-630-3937 or visit WEBSITE to schedule a day and time that works best for you.