“Dr. Tracy, can I sleep overnight with my contact lenses?”
The short answer — I strongly discourage it.
Studies show that people who sleep with their contacts are almost 20 times more likely to develop eye infections, sometimes leading to permanent corneal scarring and loss of vision. The odds of getting an infection increases with each consecutive night worn.
Despite the risks and warnings, some patients still sleep with their lenses. If they do wake with redness or irritation, they should, of course, remove the lenses right away. If symptons continue, I urge them to see me immediately to check for infections or abrasions. Appropriate treatment, if started promptly, will usually prevent serious consequences.