Sleeping in contact lenses

by Sarah
(London, UK)

I sometimes forget to take my soft lenses out at night. Will leaving them in harm my eyes?

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Jul 09, 2010
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Sleeping in contact lenses
by: Helen

In order for your eyes to breathe properly, it's advisable NOT to sleep in contact lenses unless they are intended for "extended wear."

But I have been guilty of falling asleep when tired with my lenses in and have also forgotten to take them out at night when very tired or a little drunk!

There's no real harm done if you wear soft lenses. Eyes may feel a little sticky and possibly sore, so if that's the case, just take them out and put some glasses on for a few hours or all day if possible to let your eyes breathe again. Use eye drops if they feel especially itchy or you can "feel" the lenses when you put them back in.

Many years ago when a student, I fell asleep in gas permeable lenses and boy were my eyes sore! They felt sticky and it was a real struggle to get the lenses out as they were "stuck" to my eyeball. It didn't help as I panicked when I realised I was late for a job interview aswell as I had missed the first train into London!

But once I got the lenses out and my eyes were rested again, it was fine. Just try not to do it too often!

I did, by the way, have to wear my glasses for that interview - I got the job, so it wasn't all that bad!

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