According to statistics, 71 percent of the population is quite used to wearing glasses. However, around 22 percent stick with contact lenses. Those who prefer contact lenses can be divided into two groups. While one group wears it for the purpose of helping them with their eyesight, the other group wears it entirely for the sake of beauty. Whether it be for sight or a bite of vanity, there are several dos and dont’s you have to keep in mind while wearing contacts. The one that tops the list, however, is the rule of never wearing contacts to bed. Too much contact with contacts can prove to be harmful. In case you forget to take off your contacts before hitting the sack and end up waking up with lenses lodged inside your eyes, do not fret. There are ways to heal the eye. Here are some tips on how to treat eyes after sleeping with contacts. Read along to learn more.
Why Must One Avoid Sleeping With Contacts
For a variety of reasons, doctors do not recommend sleeping with contacts. In some cases, sleeping with lenses might not show immediate symptoms, but it will cause problems in the long run. Not breaking the habit of sleeping with contacts is the best way to invite eye infections! The eye is built in such a way that it can tolerate contact lenses when a person is awake. It needs a sufficient amount of lubrication and proper oxygen to deal with contact lenses. When a person blinks, it acts as a source of lubrication. On the contrary, when one is sleeping, there is very little production of water, and because it’s closed, there is no oxygen. Even though there are tricks on how to treat your eyes after sleeping with contacts, it’s better to keep the risk at bay. As the saying goes, “prevention is better than cure.”
The Golden Rules
- Try to avoid direct exposure to the sun. Direct heat or light might turn out to be harmful.
- The lens solution in the lens case should be changed every day or every alternate day.
- If you use lenses regularly, use eye drops frequently.
- Use lens solution every time you use contact lenses to avoid any bacteria entering the eye with the lenses.
- Wash your hands thoroughly before and after using the lens.
- Try to avoid using tweezers to apply or remove lenses.
- Do not rub your eyes when your lenses are on.
- Try not to wear lenses for more than 12 hours at a time.
- Do not ever rinse the lenses with anything other than lens solution.
- Most importantly, do not fall asleep with your lenses on.
- In the event of an emergency, contact lens wearers should be aware of how to treat their eyes after sleeping with contacts.
Keep An Eye Out For These Symptoms
What if you fall asleep with contact lenses on, and how to treat eyes after sleeping with contacts? These are some common questions that pop into your head if you sleep in your contacts by mistake. Here are some symptoms that might be visible the next morning after you wake up.
- Redness: Your eyes might have turned red, which will give you an irritating sensation.
- Pain and irritation: You may experience minor to severe pain in your eyes.
- Excessive dryness or excessive water—a person can experience either. As the lens absorbs water, the cornea might get dehydrated, or to overcompensate for dryness during sleep, a person might experience excessive water.
- Headache: It is a common fact that eyes have a lot to do with headaches. Hence, keeping contacts overnight can cause severe headaches the next day.
- White discharge: a person might experience a white discharge from the eye the next morning. This is a symptom of the initial stages of an eye infection. In such cases, a person should see an ophthalmologist immediately.
- Blurred vision: You may have had blurred or unclear vision the other day. In such a case, remove the lens gently and let your eyes rest after some basic care.
- Corneal tearings! It is as scary as it sounds. Lenses staying on without hydration can cause little tears on the person’s cornea, resulting in poor vision or, in some very rare cases, no vision at all.
If you see these symptoms, then take it as a sign. It’s time for your next appointment with the doctor!
How To Treat Eyes After Sleeping With Contacts
- Do not panic. Give your eyes time to rehydrate, as the lens might be stuck because of the extreme lack of oxygen and lubrication in the eye.
- Try to remove them after 10–15 minutes of waking up. If you still feel it is not working, use eye drops to catalyze the hydration of your eyes.
- Saline water or lens solution is great to drip into your eye after removing the lens. This step will refresh your cornea.
- Check for any symptoms. Any sign of redness, irritation, pain, swelling, or discharge should be reported to a doctor immediately. If there are no such symptoms, you can relax and not repeat the mistake again.
- For the next couple of days, go for glasses instead of lenses, as your eyes deserve a break too!
It is important to get an eye checkup done regularly if you are a regular contact lens user. Aside from this, if you sleep with your lenses on, a visit to the doctor is a must. The lens might not have done any damage. But as we all know, prevention is better than cure!