Can you sleep with your contact lenses in?

Contact Lenses

For those who hate wearing spectacles or detest putting up with a pair of frames slipping down your nose and having to fix them every few minutes, contact lenses are a blessing in disguise.

With the comfort of perfect vision, a natural field of view, and no frames to obstruct your vision, different types of contact lenses are available in abundance.

From Freshlook Colorblends to disposable and extended wear lenses, there’s always something for everyone. But for all new lens users, there are several questions which remain ambiguous and unclear.

One such question is whether one sleep with their contact lenses in or not. According to a new report released by the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), sleeping in lenses is the most common problem reported by people who wear contacts. While sleeping with your lenses in can be a strict no-no, here are a few reasons as to why falling asleep with your lenses is a very bad idea:



  • Corneal Neovascularization:When the eye has a lack of oxygen, the eye can develop a condition called “corneal neovascularization”, which essentially means that new blood vessels start growing into the cornea. This in turn means that you may end up never being able to wear contact lenses again. This condition is present in most cases where corneal diseases are the cause of blindness.
  • GPC:A very irritable and hugely uncomfortable condition, giant papillary conjuctivitis consists of bumps under the upper eyelids. It causes itching and mucous discharge, especially after the lens is removed. It also causes the lens to fit poorly since the bumps pull up on the contact lenses.
  • CLARE:Contact Lens Acute Red Eye has symptoms like redness in the eyes; eye strain or pain; and increased sensitivity to light. In the long run, the frequency of the aforementioned problems can lead to several severe and serious health issues. Even with soft and comfortable lenses from trusted brands like Acuvue, smaller issues like leaving in lenses for durations longer than the recommended time can lead to CLARE symptoms.
  • Corneal Ulcer:One of the most severe and biggest complication from leaving in your lenses when you sleep is a corneal ulcer. A corneal ulcer is an eruption on the cornea caused by an infection that can lead to blindness. The symptoms include vision changes, eye discomfort or pain, excessive tearing and redness in the eye. This is considered as the biggest complication, because if it is an aggressive microbe, the person could lose their vision permanently, and the corneal scar that occurs could require a corneal transplant.
  • Corneal Microcysts:A disorder in which the cornea of the eye shows dots (or microcysts) geographical map like lines and grayish fingerprint lines when examined with a slit lamp, corneal microcysts are caused by chronic “hypoxia”, or the lack of oxygen to the eye; and leads to cell death and an accumulation of debris in intercellular pockets. This disorder is equally dangerous and complicated as it reads. And to think that it can be caused by a silly mistake of sleeping with your contact lenses in.

As difficult and struggling getting those dried out lenses unstuck from your eyeballs is, falling asleep with your contact lenses in can turn out to be a scary situation if it manifests into any conditions mentioned above.

Being careful and meticulous about things like making sure to take off your lenses before falling asleep, washing your hands properly before handling your lenses, rinsing your lenses thoroughly with contact lens solution, storing them in a clean case with fresh solution everyday and ensuring to replace your lens case every three to four months are some of the things to keep away from any of these fearsome complications.