Sleeping daily wearing contact lens doesn’t only increase your risk for eye infections, you can also irritate your eyes and experience other problems with your cornea, the front surface to the eye because you are denying it of oxygen.It’s like having a plastic bag over your head when you sleep, and not good for oxygen exchange.
Do you ever fall asleep while wearing your contact lenses? If you’ve done it, you know the morning struggle to get those dried out lenses unstuck from your eyeballs.
The cornea receives oxygen from the air when you are awake, but when you are asleep, it gets nourishment and lubrication from tears and a gelatinous fluid called the aqueous humor. If there’s a contact lens in your eye when you’re sleeping, then the contact lens acts as a barrier between the closed eyelid and the cornea, and it’s fairly tight over the surface of the cornea. When you’re awake, the contact lens is actually supposed to move a bit — about a millimeter of movement with every blink — in order to allow the cornea to get oxygen. But when you’re sleeping with your contacts in, the contact lens is unable to move because your eyes aren’t blinking.
It sure happens a lot and we all know it’s bad for your eyes, but how bad is it?
Despite some contact lenses being approved for overnight wear, It’s important to give the eyes a break and let the cornea breathe.
CDC researchers found that six out of seven contact lens wearers reported at least one risky lens-related behavior.
Besides sleeping in contact lenses, other common bad habits included swimming in lenses, and not replacing disposable lenses and cases frequently enough.
Advice for safe lens wear
To reduce the risk of developing an eye infection
Always wash hands with soap and water before handling contact lenses.
When it comes to washing and rinsing lenses, only use contact lens solution.
Replace cases every three to four months to reduce bacteria.
Store lenses in a clean case with fresh solution each day.
Signs of infection
If you experience decreased vision, redness, watering and discharge, you may have an infection.
If removing a lens doesn’t help the irritation, it’s time to visit an eye doctor — and don’t forget to bring the problematic lens too.
Take the contact lens out, but keep it, don’t throw it away. Put it in a contact lens case and bring it with to your appointment because if we do see signs of an infection we can culture the contact lens itself also.