Oh yes that was so silly. But I searched on google and it’s not just me. Many others do forget to remove their contact lenses before going to bed and there are several reasons why people fail to do so. One popular reason was coming from a party, drunk and tired, then collapsing on bed without taking off their contacts. That was not my reason though.
It does not happen to me often but I usually forget to remove my contact lenses when I am very tired from work. I usually get eye irritation when I wake up the next morning. I would not have any problems taking the lenses off, but my eyes would be red and sometimes some discharges will be there. But I would do wake up getting worried of becoming blind. I heard of so many horror stories of users getting blind because of this. But these does not refrain me for using contacts. I know that those stories were just isolated cases.
And so to stop worrying, I did some research about forgetting to remove contact lenses before retiring to bed. Let me share you what I’ve got:
This can vary between individuals, and with different lens types and can even vary with the same individual on different occasions.
It depends on the extent that the cornea swells in response to the lack of oxygen. It usually does no permanent harm to the eye, although if you get the painful response you will inevitably end up at the eye hospital convinced that you are going blind. Treatment is normally time, perhaps with some aspirin.
They normally come out without any problem, although sometimes they can dry out and stick to the eye.
It would then be best to irrigate the eye with sterile saline to re-hydrate them, so that they move again, before removal.
This case is also called contact lens overwear. The eyes are painful due to lack of oxygen and superficial punctate stainings are common with flurescein dye.
Management in clinic or hospital setting would be instilling a topical anaesthesia into the eyes to relieve the pain. The two eyes can be patched and analgesia can be prescribed. The pain usually resolves within 24 hours.
I wear the disposable daily soft contacts-type. I wear a pair for a day and throw them away before going to bed. And so I do not have to worry about having them cleaned and storing my contact lenses in cases with eye solutions. A bit expensive, but healthier to the eyes.
Take care of your eyes!
research credits: contact lenses.co.uk, eyecasualty.co.uk
image credits: singaporemoms.com, keratoconustexas.com, eden rivers.com