There are always those nights when you’re out partying with your friends or entertaining some people at some events and when you reach home, you’re dead tired.
So, you choose to skip washing up and just fall into a deep sleep, with your contact lens still in your eyes. At other times, you simply get so comfortable in your contact lens that you forgot to remove them.
However, it’s high time you stop this bad habit as the repercussions may be more serious than you think.
1. Eye infections
Needless to say, the most common problem that people experience after wearing their contact lens to sleep is eye infections. Ranging from slight irritations like soreness or itch to more serious symptoms of redness, eye infections can take a sudden turn for the worse if not treated or taken care of properly, especially with bacteria trapped under the contact lens while you’re asleep.
2. Super dry eyes
When you wear contacts lens, every blink creates a tiny abrasion and your eyelids’ inner lining can become rougher with the friction caused over time. That also results in drier eyes. On top of that, when you sleep with your contact lens on, the inflammation caused will only be exacerbated. This may just be the reason why your eyes are always dry and irritated.
Simply put, hypoxia occurs when oxygen supply cannot reach the tissues in your eyes. Just like any other organ, your eyes need oxygen to function but sleeping with contact lens can cut off the oxygen supply to your cornea. If you constantly wear your contact lens to sleep, the risks of hypoxia get higher and higher. It can result in the growth of new blood vessels which may in turn cause a loss of vision if they grow longer than 2 millimetres.
4. Corneal ulcers
Corneal ulcers are actually open sores that form on the cornea. If you do not change out your contact lenses regularly, they can scratch the surface of your cornea. This means your cornea is now open to infection and microscopic particles can get trapped underneath as well. It is not uncommon in cases of corneal ulcers that sufferers have to undergo corneal transplants. What’s scary is that people who wear contact lens to sleep are 5 times more likely to develop corneal infections which can permanently affect your vision.
This may be an extreme case but there are true cases reported that show this happening. There was a student in Taiwan who wore contact lens to sleep consecutively for half a year and she was infected with Acanthamoeba which is a single-celled amoeba which causes severe infection of the eye, skin and central nervous system.
The stubborn student, however, still refused to remove her lens and in the end, the parasite went to her cornea and started eating away at the surface of her eyeball.
Well, this is definitely the worst thing that can result from wearing contact lens to sleep. Many types of eye infection can lead to minor vision loss and the need for a cornea transplant. It should, therefore, be no surprise that prolonged mishandling of your contact lens such as wearing it to sleep when you’re advised not to can cause permanent blindness.
With all said, do remember that your eyes are very fragile and precious and you should always do your very best to protect them.
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