Is it Safe to Sleep with Contacts?
After a long day, it’s tempting to skip our night-time routines and go straight to bed. Unfortunately, some routines, like taking out your contact lenses, can’t be skipped. Contacts should be removed every evening, cleaned and stored in sterile solution. Sleeping with contact lenses exposes your eyes to infections. Studies have shown a 10-15% increase in the rate of infections in people who sleep wearing lenses versus people who remove them at night.
Your cornea needs oxygen to function properly. Contact lenses act as a barrier between the eyelid and the cornea, impeding the eye from getting enough oxygen.
If you fall asleep accidentally with your lenses in for just one night, you are unlikely to experience any serious issues. However, if you make it a habit, you can certainly increase your chances of experiencing a serious health risk.
If you do happen to fall asleep with your contacts in, don’t panic! Find some drops to add moisture to your eyes, wait a few minutes for the swelling to go down and remove them. Make sure you properly wash your hands before touching your eye to avoid infections.
There are some types of lenses that are specifically for overnight or extended use, but you will need to see an eye specialist first to get more information.