Can I sleep in my contacts?

istock 1136562091 1 Any contact lens wearer will tell you that they are great little devices and make life so much easier. However, anyone who wears contact lenses will also probably admit to having slept in their lenses, at least a time or two, by accident or because they don’t think it will cause any harm. So, is it all right to sleep in your lenses? 

How important is it to take your lenses out at night?

It is actually very important for the health of your eyes to take out your contacts when you go to sleep (this applies to contacts that have been approved for overnight use, too). 

Your eyes need oxygen and moisture to remove bacteria and to help keep them clean and healthy. When you sleep, your eyes are deprived of oxygen and moisture for hours, and when you have your contacts in they get even less of these essentials. Bacteria have an even greater opportunity to gather on your eyes when your contacts are in, which means the risk of infection becomes greater. 

What if I don’t take my lenses out?

Everyone slips up now and then and falls asleep before they have a chance to take out their lenses. If this happens to you, take out your contacts as soon as you wake up. Leave them out for a day, and check for any symptoms of infection, such as excessive eye watering, discharge, redness, or blurred vision.  

If you think you might have an eye infection, call your doctor right away (and don’t put your contacts back in!). You may be prescribed eyedrops to treat your infection. It is important to get treated, though — an eye infection, in the worst case scenario, can lead to serious eye problems, including blindness.  

Contacts are wonderful additions to our lives, but they must be taken care of properly for your health and safety. If you have any questions about contacts, or if you’ve decided the time has finally come to invest in some, call the Eye Care Institute, with offices in Santa Rosa and Petaluma. The number is (707) 546-9800. Call today!

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