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We have an affiliate relationship with and receive compensation from companies whose products we review on this site. We are independently owned and the opinions expressed here are our own.

What Happens if I Sleep With Contacts On?

Wearing contact lenses provides convenience and comfort for those with vision impairment. However, proper care and maintenance of these lenses are crucial to avoid any potential complications. One common question that arises among contact lens wearers is whether it is safe to sleep with contacts on. Let us explore what happens if you sleep with contacts on and address some common concerns.

Sleeping with contacts on can lead to various complications. The most common issue is dryness of the eyes. During sleep, the eyes produce fewer tears, resulting in reduced lubrication. Contact lenses can also hinder the oxygen supply to the cornea, leading to hypoxia (lack of oxygen). This can cause discomfort, irritation, and redness in the eyes. Additionally, sleeping with contacts on increases the risk of developing an eye infection, such as bacterial keratitis or corneal ulcers.

Here are seven common questions regarding sleeping with contacts on:

1. Can I sleep with my contacts if they are labeled “extended wear”?
While extended wear lenses can be worn overnight, it is essential to consult your eye care professional before doing so. Factors such as your eye health and tolerance to extended wear lenses should be considered.

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2. What happens if I accidentally fall asleep with my contacts on?
Occasional napping with contacts on might not cause severe issues. However, it is still best to remove them before sleeping, even for a short nap, to minimize the risk of complications.

3. Can I wear my contacts continuously for days?
Some contact lenses are approved for continuous wear for a specific duration, usually up to 30 days. However, it is crucial to follow the instructions provided by your eye care professional and avoid exceeding the recommended wearing time.

4. How long can I safely wear my contacts?
The maximum recommended wearing time for most contact lenses is around 8-12 hours per day. Regularly giving your eyes a break from contacts helps maintain eye health and prevent complications.

5. What should I do if I wake up with my contacts still on?
If you accidentally fall asleep with your contacts on, remove them as soon as you wake up. Apply lubricating eye drops to alleviate dryness and discomfort. If you experience persistent redness, pain, or vision changes, seek immediate medical attention.

6. Can I use rewetting drops instead of removing my contacts before sleep?
While rewetting drops can temporarily alleviate dryness and discomfort, they are not a substitute for removing and cleaning your contacts as prescribed. Using rewetting drops to avoid removing your contacts before sleep increases the risk of complications.

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7. How can I prevent accidentally sleeping with contacts on?
To prevent falling asleep with your contacts on, establish a consistent routine of removing them before bedtime. Set a reminder on your phone or use tools such as contact lens cases with built-in timers to help you remember.

In conclusion, sleeping with contacts on poses various risks to your eye health. It is always recommended to remove your contacts before sleep to prevent dryness, irritation, and potential infections. If you encounter any issues or have concerns about wearing contacts, consult your eye care professional for guidance. Prioritizing proper contact lens hygiene and following the recommended wearing schedule will help ensure optimal eye health and comfort.