Is it really that bad to sleep with your contact lenses?

“The lack of oxygen in the eyes, resulting from sleeping in contact lenses, reduces the healing and regeneration of the cells that make up the outermost part of the cornea,” adds Dr. Adams. “These cells are an important part of the eye’s defense against infection. If these cells are compromised, bacteria can enter and invade the deeper layers of the cornea, causing infection.”

Can you at least nap while wearing contacts?

How much damage can a one-hour nap really do? Apparently a lot. A nap seems harmless when you only close your eyes for a short time, but Dr. Adams and Dr. Tsai still caution against sleeping with your contact lenses on, even for short periods. Dr. Adams explains that napping also deprives the eyes of oxygen, which will then lead to irritation, redness and dryness. “Plus, we all know how easily a short nap can turn into a few hours,” adds Dr. Tsai.

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Oops, you accidentally did that anyway… now what?

Maybe you accidentally fell asleep after drinking Foreigner, or maybe you immediately jumped into bed after a night out. Hey, it happens! Whatever the reason, falling asleep with your contacts is inevitable at some point. But even with the risks of doing so, there’s no need to panic.

Dr. Tsai says your eyes may be dry when you wake up. Before removing the lenses, she recommends adding a few drops of lubricant to help loosen them for removal. Dr. Adams adds that you can try blinking a few times to get tears flowing again to moisten the lenses when you take them out, but using eye solution is the best option. She says you’ll then want to continue using eye drops (about four to six times) throughout the day to keep your eyes hydrated.

Next, you’ll want to give your eyes a full day of rest so they can recover. Dr. Adams recommends wearing glasses instead (if you have them) and Dr. Tsai says to be alert for potential signs of infection, including redness, discharge, pain, blurred vision, excessive tearing and sensitivity to light. .

Can you at least wear contacts in the shower?

We have established that almost all sleep situations are excluded. Unfortunately, there are other activities you can do while you’re awake that aren’t ideal for contact lens wear either. You should never shower or wash your face with contacts, as this can introduce harmful particles and lead to infection.

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