Sleeping with contact lenses
Sleeping with contact lense

what are the risks associated with sleeping while wearing contacts?

In today’s busy world, we sometimes take shortcuts with our health, like skipping meals or avoiding exercise for convenience. This habit extends to eye care too. Many contact lens wearers often leave their lenses in overnight because they forget or it’s easier. But this habit isn’t harmless. Let’s see why it’s not a good idea to sleep in your contact lenses.

Oxygen Deprivation

Contact lenses create a barrier between the eye and the surrounding air. While this is generally safe for short periods during waking hours, leaving lenses in overnight restricts the flow of oxygen to the cornea. During sleep, the eyes receive less oxygen anyway, and adding lenses into the mix exacerbates the problem. Oxygen deprivation can lead to corneal swelling, which not only causes discomfort but also increases the risk of infections and other complications.

Eye Infection

Increased Risk of Infection

Our eyes naturally produce mucus, oil, and other substances that can accumulate on contact lenses throughout the day. When we sleep in these lenses, these deposits have a chance to build up even more. This creates an ideal environment for bacteria and other microorganisms to thrive. Without the opportunity for cleaning and disinfection, the risk of developing serious eye infections such as microbial keratitis skyrockets. These infections can cause pain, redness, sensitivity to light, and in severe cases, even permanent vision loss.

Mechanical Damage

The eye is a delicate organ, and prolonged contact lens wear can cause mechanical damage. When we blink, the eyelid glides over the surface of the eye, helping to lubricate and clean it. However, when a foreign object like a contact lens is in place for an extended period, it can disrupt this natural process. The lens can rub against the cornea, leading to irritation, abrasions, and in some cases, corneal ulcers. These conditions not only cause discomfort but also increase the risk of infection and other complications.

Dry Eye

Dry Eye Syndrome

Sleeping in contact lenses can contribute to the development of dry eye syndrome, a condition characterized by insufficient tear production or poor tear quality. When lenses are left in overnight, they can absorb moisture from the eye, leaving the surface dry and irritated. Over time, this can lead to chronic dryness, discomfort, and a host of other issues. Dry eye syndrome not only impacts comfort and vision but can also interfere with daily activities and reduce overall quality of life.

Lens Discomfort and Reduced Visual Clarity

Even if you manage to avoid serious complications, sleeping in your contact lenses can still lead to discomfort and reduced visual clarity. As the lenses accumulate debris and other deposits, they become less breathable and more prone to causing irritation. This can result in blurred vision, glare, halos, and other visual disturbances that make it difficult to see clearly. Additionally, prolonged wear can cause the lenses to dry out and become stiff, further exacerbating discomfort.

Low Visual Clarity

In conclusion, while it may be tempting to leave your contact lenses in overnight for the sake of convenience, the risks far outweigh the benefits. Oxygen deprivation, increased risk of infection, mechanical damage, dry eye syndrome, and reduced visual clarity are just a few of the potential consequences of this habit. To maintain optimal eye health and comfort, it’s crucial to follow the recommended wearing schedule for your contact lenses and always remove them before bedtime. Remember, a few moments of inconvenience are a small price to pay for the long-term health and wellbeing of your eyes.

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