Most contact lens wearers have accidentally fallen asleep with their lenses in, only to remember in the morning when they wake up with sore, itchy eyes. But here are some reasons why you should really avoid doing so.
When you close your eyelids, the amount of oxygen supplied to your eyes is reduced, and with lenses in, this problem is amplified. A lack of oxygen causes the cornea to swell up and provides more opportunity for bacteria to get into your eye.
If this happens, you put yourself at risk from infections, which can be serious if left untreated.
You won’t notice, but blinking with contact lenses in causes your eyelids to become a little rougher and drier in the long run. And when you wear them to bed, this sees you close your eyes against your lenses even more, exacerbating the issue.
By falling asleep regularly while wearing contacts, you could find yourself with problems of persistent dry, itchy eyes, which could result in you not being able to wear them at all in the future.
A 2012 report in the Ophthalmology Journal revealed lens wearers were 6.5 times more likely to contract keratitis, or inflammation of the cornea, by occasionally wearing their lenses when they are asleep.
Even with ‘extend-wear’ lenses, the risk of developing ulcerative keratitis increases up to 15 times, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO).
The AAO also reported that nearly a million people visit the doctor in the USA each year due to eye infections, with the majority of these sufferers being contact lens wearers.
If this has encouraged you to get into a good habit of taking your lenses out every night, take a look at our selection of barrel contact lens cases here.