Can I sleep with contact lenses? Discover the risks and eye care tips

Can I sleep with contact lenses?

girl putting in the contact lenses

Can I sleep with contact lenses? If you do, you may have also experienced the struggle of trying to coax those dry, stubborn lenses from your eyes the morning after! Most of us know that sleeping with contact lenses may cause dryness and discomfort, but did you know it may also lead to serious eye infections? These include bacterial keratitis, acanthamoeba keratitis, and fungal keratitis. In fact, research shows that sleeping with your contacts in increases the risk for contact lens-related eye infections by six to eight times!

What will happen if we sleep with contact lenses?

If you accidentally fall asleep with your lenses, try to gently remove them first. If you are unable to do so, massage your eyelid (gently, of course!) and keep blinking to move the lens to the centre of your eye to remove it. Use sterile saline to rinse your eye if necessary, and to help loosen your lenses if they are still lodged in your eyes.

Visit your optometrist immediately if you observe symptoms of infection including blurry vision, redness, excessive watering of your eyes, and discharge from your eyes, or if you are unable to remove your contact lenses by yourself.

Eye care tips

Our eyes are extremely delicate and as contact lens wearers, we have to take several precautions when caring for them. Here are some simple and effective eye care tips recommended by the American Academy of Ophthalmology:

Clean your contact lenses carefully

Before handling your contacts, make sure your hands are clean by washing them with soap and drying them with a lint-free towel.

After removing your contacts from the lens case, use a “rub and rinse” cleaning method with your cleaning solution. Rub your contact lenses with clean fingers, then rinse the lenses with the solution before soaking them.

Remember to use a new solution each time you clean and disinfect your contact lenses! Never rinse your contact lenses with tap water! Tap water contains impurities that can contaminate your lenses, leading to eye infection or injury.

Care for your lens case

Rinse your lens case with sterile contact lens solution (once again, not tap water!) then leave the empty case open to air dry. When you need to use your lens case again, always refill it with a fresh solution to store lenses. Remember to replace your lens case at regular intervals of at least every 3 months and if it is cracked or damaged!

Follow all care guidelines and instructions

Adhere to the recommendations given by your optometrist with respect to cleaning, storing, wearing, and replacing your contacts. Remove your daily wear contacts before you fall asleep.

One of the most important eye care tips: Regular eye checks

Regular eye checks are essential for maintaining healthy eyes, and especially so if you wear contacts. Not only do regular eye checks ensure that your contacts fit properly and that your prescription is right for you, but they also help in the detection of eye irritations and infections that may subsequently lead to more serious eye problems and in some cases, vision loss.

Plano has created an eye check booking platform to make it easier and more convenient than ever to get your eyes checked. If you live in Singapore and are long due for an eye check, book your appointment with your nearest optometrist today on!

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