ZocdocAnswersIs it bad for my eyes to leave my contact lenses in overnight?

Question

Is it bad for my eyes to leave my contact lenses in overnight?

I leave my contacts in overnight sometimes. Eyes get a little itchy, but nothing serious. Could this eventually do damage to my eyes?

Answer

It is never a good idea not to follow recommendations for the use of a medication or medical device (like contacts!) prescribed by a physician. You are fortunate that you have not had any side effects from leaving in your contacts overnight, but it is possible to develop significant and serious eye infections from doing so. You can also cause significant mechanical irritation to the eye by not allowing it time to be exposed to the air without the covering of the artificial material of the contact. Infections or trauma to the eye are serious and could potentially threaten your vision. Given how important vision is, it is generally best to follow the recommendations of your eye doctor when it comes to caring for your eyes and your contacts. There are different kinds of contacts with different recommendations for how long they can be worn and what kind of cleaning is required. You should make an appointment with your eye doctor to discuss what other options you may have for vision correction. In addition, if you develop any eye pain or acute changes in vision in the interim, you should go to the emergency department right away for immediate evaluation.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.