Even though some contact lenses are FDA approved to sleep in, removing them overnight is still the safest practice. Studies have shown a 10-15 percent increase in the rate of infections in people who sleep in lenses versus people who remove their lenses at night 1. However, there are some lenses that are much safer to sleep in than others. Sleeping in contact lenses is referred to as “extended wear”, and some have been approved by the FDA for extended wear. These lenses tend to be very breathable and have very high levels of oxygen that is transmitted through the lens to the cornea.

Lenses approved for sleep

The Air Optix Night and Day lenses made by Alcon and the PureVision lenses made by Bausch and Lomb are both FDA approved for 30 days of extended wear. Both of them are monthly disposable lenses, so they should be thrown out at the end of 30 days. But even though these lenses are approved for 30 days of sleeping, most doctors recommend that you leave them out overnight at least once a week.

The Air Optix Aqua lenses made by Alcon, Biofinity lenses made by CooperVision, and the Acuvue Oasys lenses made by Vistakon all have FDA approval for six nights of continuous extended wear before they should be removed and left out overnight. These lenses are a good option for people who usually take their lenses out at night, but sometimes forget. They are also nice if you sleep at a friend’s house and forget your lens case or if you are camping and it’s not possible to remove them.

If you fall asleep in your contacts

If you do happen to fall asleep in contact lenses that aren’t designed to be slept in, be sure to remove the lens as soon as possible in the morning and give your eyes a day to rest without the lenses in. If the lenses are still fresh, they should be safe to use again after soaking in solution overnight. If they’re older than they should be, be sure to throw them out and start with a fresh lens. If your eye is a little irritated or dry, use some artificial tears or lubricating drops. If you experience pain, light sensitivity, blurred vision or extreme eye redness after sleeping in them, be sure to contact your eye doctor right away. Not everybody is able to sleep in lenses, but if you’d like that convenience, ask your eye doctor if it is an option for you. 1. http://one.aao.org/clinical-statement/extended-wear-of-contact-lenses–january-2008

5 responses to “Is it safe to sleep in contact lenses?”

  1. Deborah says:

    This article really helped a lot because most times when am too tired to remove them and sleepy I have to force my self. Thanks a lot

  2. Jebron says:

    Can u sleep with soft color contacts in your eye or no

    • 1-800 Contacts says:

      Great question! Most soft contact lenses are not approved to be worn overnight. If you have any other questions, feel free to contact us here.

  3. I didn’t realize that there were some contacts out there that you can leave in not only overnight, but for a whole month. My little sister just got contacts, and as you can imagine, she is having a bit of a struggle getting use to putting them in and taking them out. Maybe these brands would be a good option for her to try.

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