Sleeping in Contacts

Posted by Harvard Sylvan, OD on Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Many contact lens wearers find that they occasionally fall asleep with their contact lenses still on and want to know if that is okay. Other patients find that sleeping in contacts is desirable and want to know for how long they can do so. Sleeping in contacts without any negative effects to the eye is dependent on several factors. Some of these factors are the lens material, lens thickness, the prescription, and the length of time the eye is closed while sleeping in contacts.

When the eye is closed, the cornea receives oxygen from the blood vessels in the underside of the lids. When sleeping in contacts, the lens material must have enough oxygen permeability to allow oxygen to diffuse through the lens to reach the cornea. Currently, the highest oxygen permeability is found in lenses made from a silicone hydrogel material such as CooperVision’s Biofinity lenses. If contact lenses are not made from a silicone hydrogel material, the thinner a lens is and the higher the water content a lens has, the higher the oxygen permeability will be. However, the oxygen permeability is no where nearly as great as in a silicone hydrogel lens. The more nearsighted (myopic) a person is, the thinner the center of the contact lens. The more farsighted (hyperopic) a person is, the thicker the center of the lens. People who need a correction for astigmatism or are wearing multifocal contacts will also have slightly thicker lenses. The material, design, thickness and prescription all influence the amount of oxygen passing through a contact lens.

Sleeping in contacts for overnight wear requires a lens that has received extended wear approval from the FDA. Just because a lens has been approved for extended wear does not guarantee that a person sleeping in contacts will be able to do so successfully. That is dependent not just on the amount of oxygen reaching the cornea, but on the composition of the tears, the amount of deposits on the lens, the amount of lens dehydration and tear exchange beneath the lens.

When sleeping in contacts for a short period of time, just remove the lenses upon awakening. It may be necessary to instill some contact lens approved rewetting drops to loosen the lens prior to removal. Problems are rare when sleeping in contacts for a short period of time, like napping. If you plan on sleeping in contacts overnight, you may want to use rewetting drops after you wake up to help improve comfort and vision. Sleeping in contacts overnight does have a higher risk factor for corneal problems. If you are sleeping in contacts and develop pain, redness, blurred vision, etc. make sure to contact your eye doctor immediately.

Prom Ready With Contact Lenses

Posted by CooperVision on Thursday, May 24, 2012

It’s prom season! While most teens are counting down the days to prom by planning out what to wear, hair and makeup ideas, and even the limousine, some teens may want to consider adding an appointment with an eyecare practitioner for contact lenses to their prom calendar too.

Contact lenses allow teens to showcase themselves without having to hide behind their eyeglasses. For teens interested in wearing eye makeup to prom, eyeglasses can distort the way eye makeup looks , so contact lenses are the better option. There are a variety of contact lenses that teens can choose from, so talking things out with an eye care practitioner can help teen patients select the right contact lens for their specific needs. Some options for contact lenses include:

  • Daily Disposable Contact Lenses:Proclear 1 Day contact lenses that are convenient for occasional wear. So for teens who just love their eyeglasses, but want to feel different for prom night, daily disposables are a good choice. These contact lenses are low maintenance too!
  • Extended Wear Contact Lenses:For teen patients who may be too tired from prom at the end of the night to take off their contact lenses, options for extended overnight wear may be ideal. CooperVision offers Biofinity contact lenses for patients who may need overnight wear.

Whatever option teen patients choose, prom is a special night. Patients should contact an eyecare practitioner near them to learn more about their contact lens options for prom. Click here for a free trial!

About On Eye

On Eye is the contact lens blog from CooperVision. On this site, you will find insights about fitting, technology, and the business of contact lenses. The On Eye blog is designed to meet the needs of both Eye Care Practitioners and consumers. ECP and medical professional-specific portions of the blog will be password protected in order to protect and reserve the privacy of the profession. To read more about our terms of use, please see the Legal tab.

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