Don't Sleep with your Contacts In - Here's Why

Actor Tori Spelling reminded us of the dangers of sleeping in contact lenses when she recently shared a picture of herself wearing an eye patch. In an Instagram story, she said she had a corneal ulcer in her left eye, adding that it should heal in 7 to10 days. Yikes.

On her podcast, 90210MG with Jennie Garth, she elaborated further. Turns out Spelling’s contact lens habits are less than stellar, including wearing them for much longer than recommended. She joked that she wears them for weeks. “Maybe like seven weeks,” Spelling said. “No, not seven weeks. I’m exaggerating. But, I’ve been known to go maybe 20 days.” 

As a corneal specialist myself, I’ve also seen some severe corneal ulcers that occur because of sleeping in contact lenses.

So if sleeping in your eye makeup is a no no, then sleeping in contact lenses is a HELL NO!

Here's why:⁠⁠
1️⃣ Dry eyes: contact lenses absorb your tears, that’s how they stay soft. Sleeping in your contacts will take all your tears, leaving your eyes high and dry! ⁠⁠

2️⃣ Corneal abrasion: because the eyes can get extremely dry when wearing contacts for too long, the top epithelial layer of the cornea can come off, and this is super painful! When I see this I also start to worry that there may be the start of an infection, so I watch these pretty carefully! ⁠⁠

3️⃣ Red eyes: because wearing contacts for too long deprives the eye of oxygen, this causes a vasodilation of the blood vessels on the surface of the eye, or even the growth of new blood vessels on the cornea, making the eye red and irritated. ⁠⁠

4️⃣ Allergies: wearing contacts for too long can actually cause an allergy to the contact lens material. When this happens your eye will get very irritated when wearing contacts, and sometimes you might feel more discomfort when the contacts are not in your eye. This is because bumps form underneath the eyelid that constantly rub against the ocular surface. This is very common and takes months to get better. ⁠⁠

5️⃣ Infections: sleeping in contact lenses deprives your eye of oxygen, this greatly increases your risk of developing a corneal ulcer, which is quite serious. ⁠⁠