Sleeping while wearing contact lenses almost seems like a rite of passage among people who wear them. But it is a dangerous habit that can increase your risk for vision loss.
Soft contact lenses, which reduce the wearer’s chance of complications, were introduced in 1971. However, only around 8 percent of contact lens users actually wear them.
“Contact lenses that are worn incorrectly can lead to serious concerns such as corneal infection, extreme pain, light sensitivity, and permanent vision loss. It is important not to sleep in contact lenses unless advised to by an eyecare provider.”
Now, here are 4 risks associated with the sleeping in with your contact lense on:
- Hypoxia of the Eye: Like every other part of our body, our eyes need oxygen to function. Since the cornea does not have its own blood supply, it takes oxygen from tears and the open air. Wearing contacts in general can cut off the supply of oxygen getting to the cornea. Wearing them when the lids are closed during sleep often leads to hypoxia , or a lack of oxygen. As hypoxia persists, the risks become more serious. One of those risks is the growth of new blood vessels, which may not seem all that threatening, but neovascularization, as it’s called, can result in some serious problems for contact wearers, such as loss of vision, especially if it grows longer than 2 millimeters.
- Corneal Ulcers Wearing contact lenses for too long significantly increases a person’s risk for corneal ulcer , open sores that form on the cornea.
- Parasites: Wearing contact lenses while sleeping for one night is understandable. We can all get a little forgetful at times. Wearing contacts for six months straight is extremely dangerous. It gives room for parasite to breed and multiple easily.
- Blindness: Keratitis, an infection of the cornea, is the most common infection tied to contact lens use. In addition to Acanthamoeba , bacteria, fungi, and herpes all cause keratitis. Left untreated, all three can lead to minor vision loss, the need for a cornea transplant, and even blindness.
Reference: Medical Daily