Lenses that are approved by the FDA for wearing during sleep are called Extended Wear contact lenses.
In actuality, many, if not most, of the lenses we prescribe are extended wear materials. What our doctors suggest is that all contact lens wearers realize that there is some level of bacteria in our eyes at all times. Adding a contact lens, increases that number somewhat, and then sleeping in that contact lens adds even a little more bacteria to our eyes.
If our immune system is strong, our bodies fight off the bacteria, preventing a full-blown infection. Sometimes our immune system is weak from some health problem such as a cold or the flu. During that low level, opportunistic infections can occur, and sometimes they can be very serious.
Across the board, our doctors highly recommend that you do NOT sleep in contact lenses on a regular basis. And if you do, please be sure to follow your doctors orders for returning for monitoring the health of your eye.
There are multiple types of soft extended wear contact lenses
- spherical (without astigmatism)
- toric (with astigmatism
- bifocal soft lenses
- Tinted soft lenses
- Opaque soft lenses
Be sure to tell your doctor if you have a reason or a need to sleep in contact lenses.