The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that sleeping with contact lenses in your eyes is a usual offense committed by contact lens wearers. Many are aware that it’s bad for their eyes and come with many risks. But what are the consequences?
Falling Asleep With Contacts
When you’re asleep, your eyes don’t get enough oxygen, which is essential in keeping your eyes healthy. The contact lens restricts more oxygen by forming a barrier between the oxygen and the cornea. However, extended-wear contacts are an exception since they allow oxygen. When your eyes don’t get enough oxygen, you can gey hypoxia or oxygen deprivation.
Wearing contacts in your sleep can also increase the risk of developing an infection. Bacteria can enter the cornea and remain there because there’s nothing to flush the microorganisms away. When not addressed, it can lead to vision loss.
Safety Tips for Contact Lens Wear
Get an eye exam at least once a year to ensure you’re wearing the right prescription. Before touching your contact lenses, make sure that you have washed your hands. Only use the contact lens solution recommended by your eye doctor for washing and rinsing lenses. You should replace the case of your contact lenses every three months and store lenses in a clean case with fresh solution everyday.
While accidentally falling asleep with your contacts won’t significantly harm your eyes, making a habit of it can increase your chance of a severe health risk. When you see that your eyes are bloodshot, feel like there’s something in your eye or are more sensitive to light, you may have an eye infection. See your eye doctor immediately if you’re experiencing these symptoms.
Northern Virginia Doctors of Optometry, your local optometrist, has been providing professional and personalized eye care for more than four decades. Call us at (703) 413-1400, or complete our contact form to request an appointment. We assist patients in Arlington, VA, and nearby areas.