Why Can’t I Sleep in Contacts?

Your St. Petersburg Eye Doctor Serving Pinellas County

Ever wondered why you shouldn’t to sleep in your contacts? Well, you’ll probably be surprised to know that most lenses are actually FDA approved for up to 6 nights of uninterrupted wear with some lenses approved for up to 30 nights. Of course, there are plenty of contact lenses out there that are not FDA approved for overnight wear, especially daily disposables.

But even if you have been prescribed contacts that you are technically allowed to sleep in, that doesn’t mean that you should. In fact, you should still avoid wearing them overnight for a few reasons.

Why You Should Avoid Sleeping in Contact Lenses

The thing is, everyone’s eyes are different. For some of us, sleeping in a pair of FDA approved overnight contacts might be totally comfortable, and we might not encounter any problems at all, but for most of us, our eyes will feel pretty irritated if we don’t take out our contacts. More importantly, sleeping in your contacts, even extended wear lenses that are approved for up to 30 nights of consecutive use, can increase your chances of developing serious eye infections and even ulcers by up to 8 times.

This is because contact lenses sit directly on your eye, which decreases the amount of oxygen exposure for your eyes. When you wear them longer than recommended, or overnight, your eyes are deprived of this much-needed oxygen, which makes you more prone to infection.

For the majority of contact lens wearers, sleeping in contacts isn’t a very comfortable experience anyway, so you’re likely to avoid it. But even if you do find them comfortable during overnight use, be aware of the cleanliness of your lenses and the health of your eyes. If your eyes feel dry or irritated, remove those contacts to give your eyes a break. On the other hand, there’s no need to panic if you fall asleep in your lenses every now and then, but when at all possible, keep in mind that it’s best to give your eyes a rest while you’re resting!

To schedule a contact lens exam or a general eye appointment with Dr. Ryczek, call our St. Petersbug optometry office at 727-327-8855 today.

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