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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 You Sleep With Contacts in for One Night?

Many contact lens wearers have been tempted to sleep with their contacts in at least once in their lives. It might seem harmless to leave them in for just one night, especially after a long tiring day. However, sleeping with contacts in can have serious consequences for your eye health. Let’s explore what happens if you sleep with contacts in for one night.

The cornea, the clear front part of the eye, requires oxygen from the air to stay healthy. When you wear contact lenses, they act as a barrier between your cornea and the air, reducing the amount of oxygen reaching your eyes. During the day, blinking and natural eye movements allow some oxygen to reach the cornea. However, when you sleep with contacts in, the oxygen supply is significantly reduced, leading to a condition called corneal hypoxia.

Corneal hypoxia occurs when the cornea does not receive enough oxygen, causing discomfort, redness, dryness, and even blurred vision. These symptoms can persist even after removing the contacts and may require medical attention. In severe cases, it can lead to corneal ulcers, infections, and other serious complications that could potentially damage your vision permanently.

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To shed more light on the topic, here are answers to 7 common questions related to sleeping with contacts in:

1. Can I sleep with daily disposable contacts?
No, even if they are labeled as “daily disposable,” it is not recommended to sleep with them in. They are designed for daily wear and should be discarded after each use.

2. What if I accidentally fall asleep with my contacts?
If this happens occasionally, it’s important to remove the contacts as soon as you wake up. Give your eyes some time to recover before putting in a fresh pair or using glasses.

3. Can I use extended wear contacts for sleeping?
Extended wear contacts are specifically designed for overnight use, but you should still follow your eye doctor’s guidance and wear them as recommended. Not everyone’s eyes can tolerate extended wear, and it’s crucial to consult with your eye care professional.

4. How long can I leave my contacts in?
Most contact lenses are not designed for 24/7 wear. Follow the instructions provided by your eye care professional and avoid wearing them longer than recommended.

5. Are there any exceptions to sleeping with contacts?
In some cases, your eye doctor may prescribe certain types of contacts that can be worn overnight. However, these are typically specialized lenses used in specific situations and should be used under professional supervision.

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6. Can I use eye drops to compensate for sleeping with contacts?
Eye drops can provide temporary relief for dryness and discomfort, but they do not replace the oxygen your eyes need. It’s best to remove your contacts and give your eyes a break.

7. What are the best practices for contact lens wearers?
Always follow your eye care professional’s instructions regarding lens wear and replacement. Avoid sleeping with your contacts in, clean and disinfect your lenses as directed, and never swim or shower with them in to minimize the risk of eye infections.

To protect your eye health, it’s crucial to prioritize proper contact lens care and follow the guidelines provided by your eye care professional. Sleeping with contacts in, even for just one night, should be avoided to prevent potential complications. Remember, your eyes deserve the best care and attention.
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