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Did You Sleep With Your Contact Lenses On? Doctor Shares Possible Risks

Contact lenses help you see better without altering your facial features. But it requires regular cleaning, else it can expose you to infections.

Tenzin Chodon
Written by: Tenzin ChodonUpdated at: May 16, 2023 08:30 IST
Did You Sleep With Your Contact Lenses On? Doctor Shares Possible Risks

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While contact lenses are a great alternative to eye glasses, without extreme care, it can cause damage to your eyes. Many people, especially the younger population, are said to sleep with their contacts on, which increases the risk of infections. According to a report published by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 50 percent of the participants admitted to sleeping in their contacts at least once, whereas almost 90 percent reported wearing contacts while napping. We spoke to Dr Nandini Ray, Senior Consultant, Ophthalmology, Fortis Medical Centre, Kolkata, who talks about the possible risks of sleeping with contact lenses. 

Also Read: 6 Hygiene Mistakes You May Be Making Unknowingly

Possible Risks Of Sleeping With Contact Lenses

Dr Ray says, “Sleeping with contact lenses on can increase the risk of several complications, including eye infections, dryness, discomfort, and vision loss. While it may be convenient to wear your contact lenses continuously, it's important to understand the risks.” Here are some of the risks associated with sleeping with contact lenses on:

Corneal infection

Wearing contact lenses overnight leads to the risk of developing a corneal infection, says Dr Ray. “When you sleep with your lenses, it can restrict the normal flow of oxygen to your cornea. This can lead to redness, pain, blurry vision, and even permanent damage to your cornea,” she explains.

Dryness and discomfort

According to the doctor, sleeping with contact lenses can result in dryness and discomfort in the eyes. Eyes produce fewer tears while sleeping and receive less oxygen, due to which lenses stick to the surface of your eyes, she adds.

Increased risk of complications

Dr Ray says, “Sleeping with contact lenses increases the overall risk of other contact lens-related complications, such as Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis (GPC), which is characterised by itching, redness, and the formation of bumps on the inside of the eyelid.”

To avoid these risks, the doctor recommends removing the contact lenses before sleeping, unless someone is specifically prescribed extended-wear lenses by his/her eye care professional. 

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Safety And Hygiene Measures While Handling Contact Lenses

Here are some important safety tips to follow when using contact lenses:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water before handling the contact lenses
  • Follow the recommended wearing schedule as wearing them for long may cause several problems
  • Replace your lenses as recommended as using expired lenses can lead to infections
  • Avoid water contact while wearing contact lenses 
  • Handle your lenses with care; rough handling can damage the lenses or cause scratches, which can irritate your eyes
  • Contact lenses should not be shared with others

Hygiene practices to follow when it comes to contact lenses:

  • Keep your hands clean and dry before touching your contact lenses
  • Use proper solution to clean your lenses 
  • Clean and disinfect your lenses as per provided instructions
  • Avoid sleeping with lenses


For those of you who wear contacts, you must take necessary measures to prevent infections and other eye-related complications. Dr Ray strictly advises against the use of contact lenses while sleeping or taking a nap. Speak with your doctor or an eye-care professional to understand and reduce your risk.