How long can I wear my lenses?
We recommend that the maximum number of hours to wear daily wear contact lenses is between 10-14 hours a day.
It’s important that your eyes receive oxygen from the environment. While contact lenses permit some oxygen transfer, it is far less than if you didn’t wear contact lenses.
Sleeping in lenses
Did you accidentally leave your lenses in overnight?
Even if you fall asleep for only a short while with your lenses in, you may find they have become stuck to the surface of your eye – especially if you are dehydrated, eg after drinking alcohol.
Never attempt to remove the lenses if they do not come out easily. Instead, blink and apply lens comfort drops (if you have them) until your eye surface becomes moister. You may have to leave your lenses in for a while until they rehydrate. The lenses will then become mobile again and you will be able to remove them.
Once you get them out, avoid cleaning and reinserting them. Put them in their case with solution and use your glasses for the rest of the day. This will give your eyes a chance to restore their moisture balance.
If nothing works and you’re still struggling to take your contacts out, call your optometrist.
If you have any persistent discomfort or redness see your optometrist as soon as possible.
Wearing your contacts to bed on a regular basis can be dangerous to your eyesight. Contacts can get dirty and harm your eyes, no matter how careful you are. Bacteria can multiply and cause an inflammation of the eyes known as keratitis.
Continuous wear lenses
If your work or lifestyle requires you to wear your lenses for long periods – and even to sleep in them – there is a lens type that is designed to be worn this way – the continuous wear lens. Ask your optometrist whether this type of lens is suitable for your eyes.
These lenses are thinner than daily use lenses and allow more oxygen through to your eyes.
Continuous wear contacts do have to be taken out – they cannot be worn 24/7.
It’s a good idea to sleep without them at least once a week. Allowing your eyes to breathe without any barriers can give you more comfort and less chance of infections.