If you are like most soft contact lens wearers you probably have fallen asleep with your lenses still inserted in your eyes at one point or another. Soft lens wearers often forget that they still are wearing their lenses after a long day at work or after a late night out with friends. Although soft contact lenses may trick you into thinking that you are not wearing contacts because they are so comfortable to wear, it is still important to take them out every night unless you wear contacts designed to be left in over night.
There have been vast improvements made in contact lens design since the time when soft contacts were first introduced to the market. While the first few designs of soft contacts were not especially comfortable to wear, they were much improved from the gas permeable and hard lenses that people were forced to wear if they were looking for an alternative to prescription glasses.
Today’s soft contacts are extremely comfortable to wear and they provide increased breathability for the eye. The technology behind the design of these lenses allows a greater amount of oxygen to flow freely to the eye eliminating the dry eye feeling previous lenses left wearers to suffer along with the redness caused by this irritation. Even though these lenses are much more comfortable for wearers, it is not recommended that they be worn during sleep.
Lens designers have come up with a couple of contacts that are designed to be worn through the night. These lenses typically need to be disposed of on a weekly basis and they are a little more expensive than other weekly disposable lenses. Although these lenses are safe to sleep in, it is important to adhere to your disposal schedule to avoid irritation and to prevent infection.
The bottom line is this: no matter what type, brand, etc… of contact lenses you wear, it is always the best option to take them out before sleeping. The only time you can be lax on this issue is if you wear lenses specifically designed by the manufacturer and approved by your doctor to be slept in. Even with these types of lenses, take the time to remove them at night and you’ll avoid all unnecessary risk. Take it from me, even the tiniest eye irritation can be a major irritant, the extra three minutes at the end of the night is SO worth it.