WHAT HAPPENS IF I SLEEP IN MY CONTACT LENSES?

Dr. Jim Martin 03/05/2015

6337840_orig.pngAnyone who wears corrective lenses knows that waking up in the morning can be a real chore. You struggle to read the clock and fumble around to find your glasses. Thankfully, there are now contact lenses designed for extended wear. This allows you to experience clear vision 24/7. However, not all contacts are designed for extended wear and sleeping in those types of contacts could cause serious damage to your eyes.

Oxygen Depletion

Sleeping in contact lenses that are not designed for such a purpose can block the flow of oxygen to your cornea. When this happens, your eye forms new blood vessels in an attempt to bring in more oxygen.

These extra blood vessels can then interfere with your vision later on. This can also cause swelling or clouding of your cornea as well.

Ulceration Of The Cornea

Sleeping in certain contact lenses can also cause open sores (ulcers) on your cornea, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. This ulceration is associated with bacterial infections of the eye. Sleeping in contact lenses not designed for extended wear increases your chances of developing a bacterial infection and, thus, ulcers.

Dry Eyes

When you’re sleeping, tear production naturally decreases. Dry contacts can then cause abrasions on your cornea that can lead toinfections. This bacteria and certain fungi can get trapped under the lense and fester all night long.

Extended Wear Options

There are extended wear lenses that will fit into any lifestyle. They range from daily disposable lenses to lenses that can be worn for up to one month at a time. As stated earlier, getting the proper amount of oxygen to your cornea while you sleep is important for continued eye health. The best contact lenses, particularly those made from silicone hydrogels, allow a steady stream of oxygen to reach your corneas while you sleep.

In order to determine which type of extended wear contact lenses are right for you, it is advisable to discuss your lifestyle needs with your eye doctor. Your vision abnormalities (astigmatism, farsightedness, amblyopia, etc.) will also play a determining role in the type of lenses that will suit you best.

Broome Optical has a wide selection of extended wear contact lenses and a knowledgeable staff that can help you select the right lenses just for you. Schedule an appointment today.

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