Contact lenses are the utmost in convenience for those who have impaired vision. Most of your day is spent enjoying clear vision without glasses, and it can be quite tempting to leave them in overnight. Phoenix Eye safety providers have a few things to say about this practice.
Risk of Eye Infection
For most people, eye infections rarely occur. Wearing contacts can slightly increase the risk of developing infections since foreign matter can accumulate on lenses, especially if they are not properly cleaned. Sleeping with your contacts in increases this risk exponentially. Bacteria or debris can build up in your eyes overnight and cause scratches to the surface of your eye, sometimes resulting in corneal ulcers or other types of eye damage, including blindness.
Lack of Oxygen
The cornea of your eye absorbs oxygen through the tiny blood vessels on the inside of the eyelid. Wearing contacts overnight diminishes the ability for oxygen to flow properly to the cornea and other eye structures that help you see, having a serious impact on your eyesight. Never sleep in a lens that is not specifically designed for overnight usage, and even then you should limit how often you wear them overnight to ensure that your eyes stay oxygenated and healthy. Oxygen deprivation is an even larger issue if you wear colored lenses, since the pigments required to give your eyes a different color is a further obstacle to the proper flow of oxygen.
Wearing contacts overnight can result in a very painful morning wake-up call. Eye safety specialists often see patients who have had their contacts stick to the eyes’ surface to the point that requires an expert to remove the lens. In general, most contact wearers can attest to dry eyes and lenses when waking up after sleeping in their contacts. The lack of moisture in the eye can cause your lenses to degrade faster, or create small tears in the lens that may affect the fit and performance.
Contact lenses are a dream for those having vision issues, but they must be used with common sense. Redness, infection, swelling, tearing, and blindness can all be unfortunate consequences of sleeping with your lenses in, especially if your brand is not specifically designed for that type of wear. In the interests of eye safety, contact wearers should maintain their lenses properly and refrain from wearing them while sleeping.