Can I Sleep in My Contact Lenses?
The quickest, short answer is maybe. However, nothing in life is that simple. Overwearing contacts can lead to a host of problems, including infections, blurred vision and even corneal ulcers.
There are contact lenses that are FDA approved for overnight wear; those contacts are typically more breathable and allow more oxygen to pass through the lens and onto the cornea. These contacts are referred to as “extended wear” contacts, and they vary in what that “extended” designation means.
Some brands, such as Air Optix Night and Day are wearable for up to 30 days, meaning that the lenses can stay on the eye day and night for up to 30 days. However, every eye is different, and some wearers experience some minor discomfort. Try removing them for a couple of nights a week to let the eyes breathe. This type of contact is a monthly lens.
Other brands such as Acuvue Oasys and Biofinity are intended for an extended wear of seven days and six nights, making them a weekly replacement lens.
Any brand or type that does not indicate “extended wear” should NOT be worn overnight. If you fall asleep or take a nap, be sure to remove the contact as soon as possible upon wakening, soak the lenses overnight in a solution and allow the eyes to rest if possible before reinserting.
With any wear schedule or brand, if you experience any redness, tingling, blurred vision, irritation, or pain, remove the contacts immediately and contact your eye doctor.