Whether you wear contacts all day every day, or just once in a while, proper care is crucial to preserve your lenses and your eye health. When worn properly per your eye doctor’s instructions, contacts are safe and convenient. But improper wear, including sleeping in your lenses, can have serious consequences. Being aware of these habits will ensure your eyes stay healthy and avoid emergency eye doctor visits.
What Happens When You Sleep in Contacts
Most contact lenses prevent some oxygen from reaching the cornea, which is essential for eye health. If the cornea is without oxygen for too long, hypoxia can result, causing the eye to swell and vision to decrease. Sleeping in contacts can also result in corneal infections as bacteria becomes trapped beneath the lens on the surface of the eye and cannot be flushed away.
The lack of oxygen further increases the risk of infection. Research indicates about 20% of contact-related corneal infections lead to severe damage such as permanent scarring or vision loss.
Best Practices for Contact Lens Wear & Care
If you fall asleep accidentally in your contacts, don’t panic. Remove them immediately and wash them with a cleansing solution to remove bacteria. Flush your eyes with doctor-recommended eye drops to clean the eye. If you do not wear daily disposable contacts, take the extra couple of minutes each evening to remove your lenses and store them properly in a cleansing and storage solution.
If you’re too tired to remember to remove your contact lenses by the end of the night, consider switching to glasses as soon as you get home. Have a backup pair of glasses handy, whether it’s for nighttime reading or emergencies. If you struggle with lens care, you may also consider talking to your eye doctor about LASIK® to learn if you are candidate in order to correct your vision surgically.
If you’re a Cincinnati, OH, resident, turn to the trusted eye care team at Wing Eyecare. Since 1914, these eye doctors have served the Hamilton County community, providing comprehensive services including eye exams and prescription glasses and contacts. Whether you need a vision check or a new pair of lenses, there’s no one better to trust. Call (888) 274-9464 to speak with a friendly team member or visit the website to learn more about how they can help you and your family.