Dear Contact-Wearer, Please Don’t Make this Mistake!
- Posted on: Mar 15 2018
If you wear contact lenses, you may have gotten into a normal routine that you barely have to think about anymore. Inserting, removing, and cleaning contacts, after a time, becomes as familiar as brushing your teeth. Creating habits is a good thing most of the time. When it comes to contact wearers, though, there is also a risk of becoming complacent. You get so accustomed to having contacts that, inadvertently, there may be occasions on which you fall asleep with your contacts in.
This type of experience may not immediately come with consequences. So, if we were to tell you that sleeping in your contact lenses could be bad for eye health, you may not want to believe us. For that reason, we’re not going to tell you. We’re going to let science do the talking.
Oxygen is an integral component to a health tear film and cornea. Every time we blink, oxygen is transmitted from the air to these aspects of the eye. Even when you have contact lenses in, they move a small amount when you blink, allowing oxygen to nourish the cornea. When you’re sleeping, you’re not blinking, so to have the barrier of a contact lens over the eye can exacerbate the effects of low oxygenation. Research has shown that sleeping with contacts in may lead to the development of new blood vessels on the cornea, which can cause scarring or persistent irritation.
Then there is the matter of bacteria. Microbes can adhere to contact lenses and multiply on them, as well as on the ocular surface, overnight. Without oxygenation, bacteria have a sort of incubator in which to flourish. Additional research also indicates that nerve sensations across the cornea diminish when contacts are worn overnight. The lack of oxygen, growth of blood vessels, and proliferation of bacteria on the cornea can all create a risk of future vision loss.
Routine eye exams aren’t just about your vision, nor are they only for older individuals who face age-related eye conditions like cataracts. Eye exams observe conditions that you may not be aware of. To schedule your exam in our Chester, NJ office, call 908-879-7297.