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Which contact lenses can you sleep in?

Contacts Types

structure image Which contact lenses can you sleep in?


It’s totally normal after a long day at work or a late night out for people to accidentally fall asleep without first removing their contacts. If this has ever happened to you, you probably came to regret sleeping with your contacts in the following morning. But why is it bad to sleep in your contacts?

Is it safe to sleep in contact lenses?

Generally speaking, going to sleep in contacts is something your OD will warn against, since it can result in depriving your eyes of oxygen and actually cause the lenses to tighten on your eyes and harm your corneas. This can lead to irritation and can provide a foothold for harmful bacteria to cause infection in your eyes.

That said, there are some kinds of contact lenses you can sleep in and that are safe for overnight wear. These kinds of contact lenses, called extended wear contact lenses, are designed to be worn for greater periods of time compared to traditional lenses. Most contacts have a recommended use of up to 16 hours a day, but extended wear contact lenses are designed to be worn for more than a day, as well as overnight.

In which contact lenses can you sleep?

Extended wear contact lenses are designed using silicone hydrogels to be as thin and breathable as possible to let oxygen to flow to the eyes even while you sleep. These contact lenses can be a comfortable solution for people with a particularly active lifestyle, and who may not be able to regularly and adequately clean their lenses. They may also be a good solution for people with very poor vision who might otherwise struggle in the mornings and at night when not wearing their contact lenses. With that said, extended wear lenses are not without their risks.

Contact lenses other than daily disposable must be taken out and cleaned overnight, both so that you give your eyes a breather from wearing the lenses all day, and to remove any impurities that may have collected on the lenses throughout the day. Wearing contact lenses for a greater periods of time also means that they are not cleaned as frequently as other kinds of contact lenses. This can lead to greater risk of buildup of impurities and bacteria between the contact lens and the eye, and lead to eye infection. That’s why you should consult your eye care specialist to decide if these types of lenses may be a good solution for you, and what you can do to reduce your risk of eye infection.

Are there contacts that you can sleep in for a month?

Most extended wear contacts you can sleep in can be worn continuously for around a week before then need to be replaced. However, there are also contact lenses you can sleep in for a month. These contact lenses that may be worn continuously for up to 30 days without needing to be replaced. When buying your contacts online, you’ll notice that most brands of contact lenses are also available as extended wear lenses. You should discuss with your OD to decide if extended wear lenses could be a good solution to correct your vision.

Nonetheless, it’s still a good rule of thumb to always take your contact lenses out, your eyes will thank you in the morning! In fact, the 30 days represent a limit beyond which the lenses should not be worn, and it is generally recommended to take the lenses out before that amount of time has passed.

Once you’ve discussed the benefits and risks of extended wear contact lenses with your eye care specialist, you can also order contacts online with insurance!