Is Sleeping in Contacts Really Bad for My Eyes?

The clock ticks later and your sleepy, causing you to skip some of your normal bedtime routine. “Sleeping in contacts isn’t a big deal”, you think to yourself. But is it?

Contact lenses have become an incredibly popular option for people who want to be able to see clearly without the need for glasses. While contact lenses offer a lot of benefits, they also come with some risks, especially when it comes to sleeping in them. The doctors at Illinois Eye Center offer a closer look at the dangers of sleeping in your contact lenses and why it’s important to take them out before you go to bed. Here are five reasons to take that extra moment to remove your contacts before turn in for the night.

Risk of Eye Infections

Sleeping in contact lenses increases your risk of getting an eye infection. This is because contact lenses can form a barrier that traps bacteria against your eye, which can then lead to an infection. Bacteria love warm, moist environments, which is exactly what your eyes provide when wearing contact lenses. Wearing them for an extended period of time – like when you sleep – can increase the risk of an infection. If you’re not careful, this could lead to serious complications, like vision impairment and even blindness.

Reduced Oxygen Supply

When you wear contact lenses, the oxygen supply to your eyes is reduced. While this isn’t usually a problem during the day, it can be a much bigger issue at night. When you close your eyes to sleep, the contact lens can further reduce the oxygen flow to your eyes, which can make them more prone to damage over time. This can lead to chronic conditions like corneal neovascularization, where new blood vessels grow into the cornea, and corneal ulcers, which can be extremely painful and sometimes require surgery.

Dry Eyes

Wearing contact lenses for a long period of time can make your eyes feel dry and itchy. This happens because the lenses can absorb the natural moisture in your eyes, making your eyes feel uncomfortable. When you sleep in contact lenses, this problem can become worse because your eyes are closed and there is no airflow. This can exacerbate dry eye symptoms and cause further irritation, redness, and even infection.

Poor Vision

Sleeping in your contact lenses can also affect your vision. Contact lenses can become dislodged or move around while you sleep. This can cause blurriness or discomfort when you wake up in the morning. In some cases, it could also lead to more serious vision problems, such as eye scratches or injuries. Additionally, contact lenses can become dirty or contaminated while you sleep, which can affect your vision the next day.

Increased Cost and Inconvenience

Finally, sleeping in your contact lenses could end up costing you more in the long run. Nighttime wear and tear on your contact lenses can reduce their lifespan, which means you’ll need to replace them more frequently. Additionally, dealing with vision problems or eye infections caused by sleeping in your contact lenses can mean extra trips to the eye doctor, as well as the added inconvenience of wearing glasses instead of contacts.

In conclusion, while it might seem like sleeping in your contact lenses is a harmless practice, it can actually have serious consequences for your eye health. The eye care professionals at Illinois Eye Center remind you to take out your contact lenses before you go to bed, no matter how tired you are. This simple precaution could save you a lot of pain and discomfort down the road. Always follow the instructions provided by your eye doctor and use proper contact lens solutions to keep your eyes healthy and safe. By taking good care of your eyes, you can ensure that you’ll have good vision for years to come.

If you have issues that may be caused by overuse of contact lenses, reach out to Illinois Eye Center to set an appointment to have your eyes evaluated.

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