There are so many reasons not to sleep in your contacts. But instead of pulling a "mom" and saying "because I said so," we are going to give you 4 huge reasons why you should NEVER sleep in your contacts.
1. A corneal ulcer may sound like a party, but trust us, it’s a nightmare. An ulcer is a small crater on the front part of the eye, usually resulting from infection. If you’ve never experienced it, it feels like death itself! As a contact lens wearer, you are already at a higher risk for ulcers, so you definitely don’t want to increase your chances.
2. Neovascularization (a really long word meaning new blood vessel growth), happens when your eyes are not getting enough oxygen. Contacts fit over the surface of your eye, significantly reducing the amount of oxygen and nutrients your eyes have access to. Closing your lids while wearing contacts causes an even more severe reduction. In essence, the eye is suffocating and in order to get more oxygen, new blood vessels invade the clear tissue. Not good, since the cornea needs to stay clear for you to see well through it and blood vessels are not clear.
3. It’s allergy season, so the eyes are already pretty irritated. Over-wearing your contacts can dry them out and make the irritation and allergies worse!
4. It is possible to become allergic to your contacts- seriously! Your eyes naturally produce proteins, which get trapped under and inside your contacts. By not removing them at night to soak and clean, this buildup of irritants can cause an allergic reaction. If left unchecked, your body may begin associating this allergy with your contacts and reject your lenses.
Still having trouble getting them out before climbing into bed? Here’s a PRO TIP: if you wear daily disposable contacts, you can just take them out and put them on your night stand- just don’t put them back into your eyes in the morning!
Dr. Nytarsha Thomas is an eye doctor and owner of Visionelle Eyecare. She specializes in whole-souled eyecare & designer frames.
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