If you wear contacts on a daily basis, chances are you’ve fallen asleep wearing your contact lenses more than once. It’s common knowledge that eye doctors don’t support this practice, but how bad could wearing your contacts to bed really be?
It’s important to know how wearing contacts every day affects your body. The contact lens is a foreign object that you’re introducing to your body, so it may take a while for your eyes to adjust. Contact lenses can also make the eyes dry or irritated, and your eyes may water when the contact comes in contact with your eye due to the contact solution. Your contact lenses will also need constant moisture throughout the day, which means you’ll need to be able to blink comfortably and often to prevent dry eyes.
When you wear your contacts to sleep, you’re reducing the amount of ambient oxygen that your eyes are exposed to. Ambient oxygen is necessary for cornea health, and while you can still get this form of oxygen from the blood cells, you produce much during sleep than in waking hours. This can cause hypoxia, or a significant lack of oxygen specific to a region of the body.
Sleeping in your contact lenses can also increase your risk of eye infection. Bacteria can get onto your cornea while you’re wearing the contacts, and if your eyes are closed, you aren’t blinking to flush the toxins away. Doctors say this could make it easier for the bacteria to actually eat away at your cornea. Physicians recommend taking your contacts out before bed every night, even if you’ve been prescribed extended wear contacts.
For more information on how to keep your eyes healthy, check out the Huffington Post.