It’s happened to the best of us. Bleary eyed, you come home after a long night of work or a late night out with friends, too tired to even think about taking out your contacts. The next morning, you wake up to gummy eyes and contacts that stick to your eyeballs. Your first thought may be to panic. But stay calm and take these steps to get the contacts out.
The first step is to remove them as soon as you realize they’re still in. This may be somewhat difficult at first because the lenses are so dehydrated. You may have to add in some artificial tears or some squirts of saline solution to moisten them up. Lie down with your head back and add several drops over several minutes. Blink frequently to get them rehydrated. Go to the mirror and try taking them out. If it doesn’t work at first, repeat the process. It can be tough to get the solution into that space between the lens and your eye because of all the drying overnight.
Tips to Avoid Falling Asleep with Contacts
Always wash your hands before touching your lenses or your eye. That said, consider these simple tips to avoid leaving your contacts in for too long:
- If you are known to fall asleep easily, such as when flying on a plane, take pre-emptive action and remove your contacts before the flight or before taking a nap or before watching a long movie.
- Get into a routine every night. Make contact lens removal a regular part of your bathroom ritual every night. Brush teeth, floss, wash face, remove contacts. Do this in the same order every night. Be sure to change out the solution each time. Wash your contact lens case regularly.
- If you do sleep in your contacts, take them out immediately and do not wear them the rest of the day. Wear glasses instead; so your eyes can breathe and your lenses can soak in the multi-purpose solution.
If you are having symptoms of pain, redness, puffiness or discharge, your eye could be infected. When you wear contact lenses for too long, the eye is deprived of oxygen, which can cause swelling in the cornea. This allows the possibility for bacteria to enter the eye. If any of this might occur seek the care of an eye care professional immediately.
Lastly, if you tend to fall asleep a lot with your contacts in, ask your eye doctor to prescribe you Extended Wear Lenses. While we do not regularly recommend it, if you are going to sleep in your lenses these lenses are the most likely to not cause an issue. Eyes need oxygen to be healthy and stave off infection. Take good care of your eyes and contacts, and you’ll enjoy longer use from your lenses and healthier vision.
Call Simon Eye Associates now at 302-239-1933 or complete our convenient online form. We are the trusted eye care professionals serving families in Wilmington, Newark, Bear, Middletown and nearby Delaware communities.