Why You Should Take Your Contact Lenses Out Before Sleeping

Why You Should Take Your Contact Lenses Out Before Sleeping

May 8th, 2023

Contact lenses can be an excellent alternative to glasses. However, they require more maintenance and for you to have a strict hygiene schedule.

If you’ve ever fallen asleep in your contact lenses before, you’ve likely experienced the discomfort that comes as a result once you wake up. There are a handful of reasons why you should take out your contacts before sleeping, and it goes far beyond physical discomfort.

Keep reading to learn why you should take your contact lenses out before sleeping!

What Happens When You Sleep in Your Contact Lenses?

The cornea is the front surface of your eye, and when you rest, your cornea gets a break also. With your eyes closed and your contacts removed, the cornea is bathed in moisture and tear film and is lubricated. 

Taking your contacts out gives your corneas a rest. Leaving them in means those hours that they’d be breathing are gone. 

In addition to your cornea, contact lenses also require constant moisture and lubrication to stay healthy. Although the corneas stay lubricated with your eyes closed, the only way your contact lenses are able to receive this moisture is through blinking.

Without regular blinks to deliver adequate lubrication to your contact lenses, they will dry out. Once this happens, removing them can cause surface damage to the cornea. 

While some contact lenses are approved for overnight wear, many eye doctors don’t recommend sleeping in them. With daily wear contacts, if you leave them overnight, you increase your risk of eye infections or other serious damage to your eye. 

To obtain the oxygen and nutrients it requires, the cornea has to absorb them from tears and the surrounding air. Therefore, the less time the cornea is directly exposed to the air, the less oxygen it has access to. 

Most contact lens wearers don’t realize that wearing lenses around the clock will reduce the oxygen available to the cornea.

How to Have Proper Contact Lens Hygiene

Personal hygiene is a big part of keeping your eyes healthy. By following a few simple steps, you can ensure that you are doing all you can to protect your eyes.

First, always wash your hands with soap and water before touching your eyes or handling contacts. Never use tap water to rinse your contact lenses. 

Ensure you always use a sterile contact lens solution to clean them instead. Microscopic particles in tap water can introduce irritants into your eyes and potentially cause infection. 

Using contact lens solution, rub your lenses with your fingertips to remove bacteria and debris, and then rinse them again with more solution. Also, make sure to replace your contact lens case every three to four months to reduce exposure to bacteria. 

It’s important to clean your case daily and store your contacts in fresh solution each time. Only buy contact lenses from a licensed healthcare professional. 

Don’t buy cosmetic lenses or nonprescription lenses which do not have the same rigorous standards of sterility and safety. Before your head hits the pillow, make sure your contact lenses are safely stored overnight in a clean case with fresh solution. 

Give your eyes a rest along with your body.

Do you want to learn more about contact lens hygiene? Schedule an appointment at Laser Eye Center in Huntsville, AL, today!