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Can I Sleep in My Contacts? Why Eye Doctors in Colorado Springs Don’t Recommend it

Are you sleeping in your contacts? Heed the advice of our Colorado Springs eye doctor and stop this potentially risky move. Sleeping in contact lenses is never advisable, even when the lenses specify ‘overnight use.’ What’s so harmful about sleeping in contact lenses that even the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and most eye doctors for veterans recommend you avoid this move?

Sleeping (or, wearing even wearing contacts for extended periods) may cause your eyes to develop a condition known as ‘Corneal Neovascularization.’ This occurs as a result of a lack of oxygen to the eye. When the vessels in the eyes grow too much. As a result, you may no longer be a suitable candidate for contact lenses. Some people who develop the condition can wear Gas Permeable contact lenses. This is a hard type of lens but isn’t suitable for every patient. 

People who sleep in contact lenses may also develop a condition known as Corneal microcysts. This also occurs as a result of the lack of oxygen to the eye. Contact lens acute red eye, called CLARE for short, is another condition of sleeping in contact lenses. People with CLARE experience conditions like eye pain, sensitivity to light, eye redness, and other symptoms.

Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis can occur if you sleep in contact lenses. This condition, often called GPC, causes bumps to form under the upper eyelids, resulting in itchy eyes and mucous discharge. It commonly occurs when removing the lenses. People with GPC may find their lenses fit poorly due to the bumps. 

A Corneal Ulcer is the biggest concern that comes from wearing contacts overnight or for extended periods of time. A corneal ulcer is caused by an infection that leads to cornea eruption. This can lead to blindness. Eye redness, eye pain and discomfort, excessive tearing, and vision changes are among the most common signs of a corneal ulcer. Don’t hesitate to call our eye doctors in Colorado Springs if you experience any of the symptoms above. 

 Other conditions that may result from sleeping in contact lenses include:

 – Conjunctivitis: A painful infection that may cause swelling and pain.

– Acanthamoeba keratitis: A rare condition that may lead to blindness

 Never sleep in your contact lenses or leave them in your eyes for extended periods of time. You’re only risking your eye health by sleeping in contact lenses. Schedule an appointment with our Colorado Springs eye doctor for an eye exam or if you suspect trouble after wearing lenses for prolonged periods. We care for and protect your eye health.