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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.

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What Happens if I Sleep With Contacts

Many people who wear contact lenses may have wondered at some point whether it is safe to sleep with them on. While it may seem convenient, sleeping with contact lenses can have serious consequences for your eye health. In this article, we will explore what happens if you sleep with contacts and provide answers to some common questions regarding this topic.

When you sleep with contact lenses, several issues can arise. The most common problem is the reduction of oxygen supply to your eyes. Contact lenses act as a barrier, preventing the necessary oxygen from reaching your cornea. As a result, your eyes can become dry, irritated, and prone to infections.

Sleeping with contacts can lead to a condition called corneal neovascularization. This occurs when blood vessels start growing into the cornea due to insufficient oxygen. Corneal neovascularization can cause blurry vision, redness, and ultimately, permanent damage to your eyesight.

Sleeping with contacts also increases the risk of eye infections, such as bacterial or fungal keratitis. When you close your eyes during sleep, your tears cannot wash away the bacteria and debris that accumulate on the lenses. This creates a breeding ground for microorganisms, increasing the likelihood of infections.

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Moreover, sleeping with contacts can cause contact lens-related acute red eye (CLARE). This condition is characterized by sudden redness, pain, and sensitivity to light. CLARE is often caused by a combination of limited oxygen supply and bacterial contamination on the lenses.

Now, let’s address some commonly asked questions about sleeping with contacts:

1. Can I sleep with daily disposable lenses?
No, even though daily disposable lenses are designed for single-use, it is not recommended to sleep with them. They still pose a risk of infection and reduce oxygen flow to your eyes.

2. What about extended wear lenses?
Extended wear lenses are specifically designed to be worn during sleep. However, it is essential to follow the instructions provided by your eye care professional. Some extended wear lenses are safe for continuous wear, while others should be removed and cleaned regularly.

3. Can I nap with my contacts in?
Napping with your contacts in is generally considered safe if you do not exceed the recommended maximum wearing time. However, it is always best to remove your lenses before napping to reduce the risk of complications.

4. What if I accidentally fall asleep with my contacts?
If you accidentally fall asleep with your contacts, it is crucial to remove them as soon as you wake up. Give your eyes time to rest and rehydrate before putting in a fresh pair.

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5. How often should I replace my contact lenses?
Follow the replacement schedule recommended by your eye care professional. Regular replacement ensures optimal eye health and minimizes the risk of infection.

6. What are the signs of an eye infection?
Signs of an eye infection include redness, pain, excessive tearing, blurry vision, light sensitivity, and discharge from the eyes. If you experience any of these symptoms, consult your eye doctor immediately.

7. Are there any alternatives to wearing contact lenses?
Yes, there are several alternatives, such as glasses or refractive surgeries like LASIK. Consult your eye care professional to determine the best option for your vision correction needs.

In conclusion, sleeping with contact lenses can have serious consequences for your eye health. It is essential to prioritize your eye’s well-being by removing your contacts before sleeping. If you have any concerns or questions about contact lens wear, consult your eye care professional for guidance.
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