View Full Version : How bad is it to sleep with your contact lenses in?

02-10-2007, 18:20
Aight...I gotta know...Jus how bad is it really to fall asleep with your contacts in . i know the doctor says its bad, I know this. But you know they say smokin cigarettes is bad too but it aint gonna kill you tomorrow for the most part. They say dont fall asleep with makeup on, but that dont hurt ya other than makin your skin nasty. Now i cant really tell what level of unsafeness this shits at, cuz doctors act like everything is bad. so im here to find out on a scale of 1-10 just how damaging/unsafe it is. Even if it aint that dangerous still I hate myself for this and im tryna get outta the habit, bad. But im chillen, smokin a blunt, a lil whatever whatever, and then boom im nodded out and i wake up the next mornin with my contacts in like FUCK not again! sometimes it happens a couple days in a row. Thats when i start to get paranoid that ima hurt my eyes from it. I get worried that ima be blind when i get old or somethin for all my contact-sleep wearin. I wear the disposable 2 week ones. not supposed to sleep in em. iknow there is sleepable ones, but i aint got em.

Its a thing i feel real guilty and shitty about cuz i just know its bad. but im wonderin, who here actually knows HOW bad it is, is it bad like "smokin weed in a tinny" bad, or like "injecting heroin with toilet water that you just pooped in" bad. Bad that its just a bad habit to try and get out of, or bad like its really gonna actally fuck your shit up and cause eye damage if you do it.
So, hit me with whatever info you got.

02-10-2007, 19:28
I think falling asleep with contact lenses isn't too bad as long as it is just a once off every now and again. The reason why it is not recommended (unless you have contact lenses designed for that purpose) is because (from what I remember) the cornea breathes in oxygen from the atmosphere (has no direct blood flow therefore oxygen), and the lens creates a barrier not allowing it to breath.

If you do fall asleep with your lenses in, you're supposed to wait an hour or so before trying to take them out in the morning as your eyes tend to be a little dryer and the lenses are kinda stick to them. (alternatively, use some saline solution for extra lubrication...)

I woke one morning and had slept with my lenses in - one had naturally come out in my sleep but the other one I could get out. I was dragging my nail over my eyeball trying to get the damn thing out for 20 minutes before I realised it wasn't even in there! BAd bad bad! One time I had a lense fold itself into quarters and get stuck in the top of my eye somewhere - had to pour a shit load of water in my eye to try and wash it out!

Badness rating of leaving a lense in on a random occasion - 3/10

02-10-2007, 19:35
I don't know about sleeping with them in but I just have to mention... I know two different people who within the last month have had their contacts slide up into their eyes and they couldn't get them out... that shit just freaks me out.

02-10-2007, 19:40
It can also cause severe eye infections. My eyes tend to be pretty sensitive anyway so I'm basically down to wearing my nerd girl glasses ;) 24/7 anyway, but I've spent many weeks putting oily antibiotics in my eyes for no other reason than I fell asleep in my contacts one night.

I'm trying to find some reliable information online about the risks, but I'm not having much luck. :\

edit- Here is a little something:
In a national survey, almost half of contact lens wearers said they would like to be able to wear their contact lenses overnight. More than two-thirds said they would do so if their eye-doctor gave them the go-ahead. Many people have dozed off in their contact lenses, and having failed to suffer any drastic consequences, may be emboldened to do so more often. But is it safe to sleep in your contacts? The answer generally is no – not unless you are wearing lenses specifically approved for overnight wear and are wearing them to the schedule prescribed by your eye-doctor. The fact that you might get away with an occasional nap in your lenses by no means guarantees you will be able to sleep routinely in your lenses without consequences. The fundamental problem is that contact lenses restrict the flow of oxygen to the surface of your eye (the cornea), and the longer you wear the lenses, the longer the flow of oxygen is restricted. In extreme cases of over-wearing lenses, new veins grow out into the cornea as the body attempts to correct for the oxygen deficit.Link (http://www.aclens.com/sleeping-in-lenses.asp)

There are also several links through google to a study about eye infections from sleeping in contact lenses. A lot of it varies depending on the type/brand of lenses you're wearing too.

02-10-2007, 19:44
From what I understand it increases the risk of infection. My doctor says he only sees problems when people sleep in their contacts. So, it doesn't sound horrible, but could end up being shitty. I know lots of people that do sleep in them though.

02-10-2007, 20:34
You can get ulcers from leaving them in which can cause you to lose your vision. I'm not sure how common this actually is though.

I remembered hearing a long time ago that there are contacts you can leave in for up to 30 days night and day. Here's a link to get a free trial:


I read some reviews about them though and some people have had problems even when using these.

You supposedly don't have to clean or do anything to the 30 day contacts unless you remove them in which case you have to clean them. If the cleaning stuff is the same as regular contacts maybe you should get these 30 day ones but still take them out when you remember to. Then if you fall asleep in them it's no big deal and you can still take them out more than once every 30 days just to be sure you're not one of the people who ends up with problems.

Anyway, if you do get these I really think you shouldn't wear them for 30 days straight but at least take them out for a night once a week or something and clean/reuse them if that's possible.

I'm sure your optometrist can talk to you more about these 30 day lenses and tell you about how long you should actually wear them and stuff.

02-10-2007, 21:15
i've been wearing soft contacts for about 20 years and i'd say i sleep with them in about once every three months. i have had no problems at all. i always leave them out for a day or two after a night in to let my eyes get a break.



02-10-2007, 21:34
Good shit guys, thats pretty much what i figured but i wasnt sure, but damn that cornea growin new veins shit freaks me out! holy shit...Damn...I gotta come up with some kinda thing to remind me to stay safe with these bitches, that shit scares me (eye damage)

Ive had the "contact slide up the eye" trick happen to me many times before too. Yo its the fuckin WORST when you just smoked a blunt, chingy as hell and then AAAAAAAH I yell like a mutha fucka when that happens. Thank god its been a long time since it did.

My problem is i aint had glasses for a long time, i got a pair now but i hate wearing them so much its insane so i never wanna take out my contacts when its late cuz i cant see the TV good, and then i just leave em in "til the shows over" and then i ass out with them in once again. There was a time i forgot to took them out for like 2 weeks. That was a shitty time, a few yrs ago, but i aint done nothing like that since. Ima have to start up a plan.

02-10-2007, 21:37
I do it sometimes but it really drys my eyes out especially if I am stoned. 4/10

03-10-2007, 01:28
4/20 ftw

03-10-2007, 02:31
I've worn disposable contacts for nearly 15 years and for the first 8 or so I used to sleep with them in fairly regularly. My optometrist at the time said it wasn't anything to worry about, so I didn't - it wasn't until years later I ended up seeing someone else who advised against doing it.

I don't wear them any more (lazy, plus I like my geeky glasses ;) ) but I've noticed that my eyes have become way more sensitive over the years. I don't know whether this is in any way related to sleeping with them in for so many years, but there's no way I'd do that now. My eyes would be all itchy and sore in the morning (though wearing them in the day doesn't cause any problems at all).

It's probably not a good idea to do it....but I wouldn't worry about it if it happens every now and then, if it's not causing you any problems.

03-10-2007, 02:40
i've been wearing soft contacts for about 20 years and i'd say i sleep with them in about once every three months. i have had no problems at all. i always leave them out for a day or two after a night in to let my eyes get a break.

don't get cocky about it; that's all I have to say. I wore them for about 14 years and did the same, every now and then, and then one day my eyes became extremely irritated. I went to the eye doc, and was instructed to leave them out for a few weeks or so (don't remember exactly, cuz it was like 10 years ago) and since my vision was so awful, I had to wear my coke-bottle glasses. it SUCKED. when I was done with the eye drops and everything else they prescribed, I was allowed to try the lenses again, and it happened immediately. I think they tried a few different kinds at that point, and said that my eyes would more than likely reject contacts from then on. which actually turned out to be an ok thing, cuz it forced me to get lasik %)

now i'm not sure if sleeping with them in had anything to do with my eyes permanently rejecting the lenses, but i can't imagine that it helped things any. so i'd say follow the rules as much as possible; your vision is not something you wanna be fucking around with.

03-10-2007, 02:46
Pretty bad. If your eye is really dry and so is the contact, if you fuck it up you could cut your eye and that isn't fun.

03-10-2007, 04:07
I don't know about sleeping with them in but I just have to mention... I know two different people who within the last month have had their contacts slide up into their eyes and they couldn't get them out... that shit just freaks me out.
That happens to me every now and then and absolutely always when I'm in a hurry. :!

An old acquaintance had the same happen to her and she and her husband spent hours trying to find it and fish it out. She must have rubbed that eye raw before finally heading for the emergency ward. There, they poked around for a good half hour too, poking and scraping and pulling and stuff, until they finally realised that the contact wasn't in there (the eye was so red it had been hard to see anything in there). She found it on the vanity desk when she got back home. It must have been hidden in a drop of solution, which had dried out since.

03-10-2007, 05:15
I've been wearing extended contact lenses for 15 years now and I sleep with em, I swim with em, i bathe with them, etc. No problems with me at all. :)

I've had lots of experiences with contact lenses including having it get lost in my eye, running around like a headless chicken trying to dislodge it, etc etc etc. Now I know my contact lens threshold, and if I feel it is getting too dry or my eyes are already uncomfortable, I let my eyes rest for a week before chucking a new pair back in.

I use Acuvue extended wear soft lenses....I've tried several brands and this is the BEST one for me.

03-10-2007, 05:22
Follow up story :
One time I ate lunch with some really hot habanero chili sauce (I have a bottle with me at all times) and just earlier one of my contacts popped out and so I had only one on, and I planned to put a new one in after my meal.
Stupid stupid stupid. I had thoroughly washed my hands and nails with soap THREE times and when I put my contact in, it burned like fucking hell and felt like a hot poker was in my eye. I ended up having to discard a perfectly good contact in the toilet , with me crying my eyes out. I made do with one contact for the whole day as I did not feel like wearing my glasses. I didnt even REMEMBER really touching any of the sauce, just handling the bottle.

:p:p:p Never put contacts in after eating a meal with any spicy condiments ever even if you wash!

03-10-2007, 07:10
^LOL! my friend stacey had the EXACT same thing happen to her. except that instead of touching a bottle of hot sauce, she was cutting up a pepper. And instead of later handling her contact lens, she played with her pussy. =D

03-10-2007, 08:01
I'm so glad I don't ever have to wear contacts again. I remember I used to do fall asleep wearing them more often than I should have...never had any noticeable problems. The only thing I could think of was that my eyes would feel dry more often and I had to buy some solution to wet them.

03-10-2007, 16:50
A friend of mine left his contact lenses in for a month. He woke up one morning and couldn't see (everything was black/very little light getting through). He had to go to the doctor to have the lenses removed (I guess they crusted over, or something... not quite sure). He can see just fine now.

03-10-2007, 18:34
You could get pink eye, and that sucks. IF you want to sleep with em in all the time though you can get "night and day" and other breathable contacts that you can wear continuosly for up to thirty days, although they cost a bit more.

03-10-2007, 20:02
I have left my contacts in accidentally (fell asleep on the train, watchin a movie etc) and when I woke up they were stuck to my eyes like glue as well as being blurry. It can hurt when you take them out if you dont put saline and rub around first. I have gotten a few eye infections too because of it.

Like others have said..it has to do with oxygen not getting through.

I dont think I have fallen asleep with them for a long time though. I can still remember the suction cup like feeling when taking em out though ewwwww.

04-10-2007, 01:28
^LOL! my friend stacey had the EXACT same thing happen to her. except that instead of touching a bottle of hot sauce, she was cutting up a pepper. And instead of later handling her contact lens, she played with her pussy. =D

I literally LOL'd :D

I've had the 'hot sauce' thing happen a couple of times - with my contacts. It seems like you don't even have to touch the shit and no matter how many times you wash your hands it still burns.

04-10-2007, 04:48
how bad is it? REALLY, REALLY BAD! i was lazy a few years ago, and found this "awesome" shortcut. i'd sleep w/ my contacts in, and then just squirt solution on them in the morning to get them moving again. this lastest for a couple of months (at the time i had the type of lenses that you keep for about a year)

well... one morning i woke up in excrutiating pain. i couldn't open my eyes- it stung that bad. turns out i scratched both my corneas. i basically spent the next four days laying in bed with my eyes closed, squirting in drops every few hours. then i also couldn't wear contacts for about a month after while they finished healing. i definitely learned my lesson. so yeah, don't sleep with them in- it's defnitely not worth it.

04-10-2007, 05:33
I have the Acuvue Oasys with Hydraclear, and my eye doctor told me I could sleep with them in every once in a while, but not to make a regular habit of it.

I don't like to though anyway, as it makes my eyes feel extremely dry. Plus, I feel like ever since I switched to these lenses, my eyes have gotten EXTREMELY sensitive. Prior to getting this, I had regular Acuvues or whatver (I honestly don't remember), but I never had problems. Since switching to these, my eyes get infected easily, they itch, they get dry (which they're not even supposed to as these are supposed to be really moist lenses), and they're just really not that comfortable.

Because I don't like to sleep in them, sometimes I get lazy when I'm about to pass out on the couch and just take them out and throw them in a tissue or ash tray and open up a new pair the next day. I'd rather throw out a pair than sleep with them in all night. :\

Despite loathing to wear glasses, I even went out and bought a new pair that I could at least bare to be seen in (my old ones were really, really dorky looking ;)).

I think after I'm done with these (I'm now on my last box), I'm going to go to the ones you wear for one day and then throw away. They're more expensive, but I feel like they'd be a lot cleaner (as you're putting a brand new, sterile lens into your eyes each day) and I also feel like since they're daily disposables, it'd be really easy to keep an extra pair or two in my purse in case I end up staying out all night or something.

Edit: Uh...I guess I really didn't say much in regards to the OP's question. My answer would be: it's not that bad, but it's really not that good, either. Avoid it if possible, but if you fall asleep with them in every once in a while, you'll be ok. :)

04-10-2007, 05:43
Sleeping in them isn't the end of the world but general eye hygiene when related to contacts is really important.

An Australian boxer, the WBA super-middleweight world champion might lose his eyesight because he cleaned his contact lense with his mouth.


04-10-2007, 10:07
^ I did that once when I was much younger when a contact popped out in the movie theater....I had nothing else to lubricate it with so I used my mouth. I know, pretty gross. :p and it fuckin HURT. No, I'd never do such a thing again.

Month long Disposables FTW! =D

Perpetual Indulgence
06-10-2007, 03:21
Wear Night & Day contact lenses (or any 30 day continuous wear brand). If you fall tend to fall asleep with your lenses in or don't give a fuck to take them out, they are made to allow a higher oxygen permeability to your cornea. The cornea is meant to be transparent. it is responsible for 1/3 of your vision. If you have blood vessels growing into the cornea because you are depriving it of oxygen, you need to stop wearing your lenses while you sleep. Unless the brand was made to sleep in you really shouldn't make a habit of it. REALLY.