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Molly Maloof, MD

Director of Clinical Content

fell asleep with contacts

severely miserable. burning,itching, tearing. please help
  • 43 years old
  • Complaint duration: 1 day
  • Medications: lube eye drops over the counter and milk
  • Conditions: no

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Featured Answer

3 UpVoted this answer Mark Sibley, MD Ophthalmologist, St Petersburg Matthew C. Rings, MD Ophthalmologist, Pensacola
I agree completely with Dr. Sovochka, you need to be examined by an eye doctor. At best your eyes are inflamed at worst you may be dealing with an infection that only prescription drops will make better. Don't delay finding out the reason for your symptoms.
Stephen L. Ebersole
2 UpVoted this answer Mark Sibley, MD Ophthalmologist, St Petersburg Holly P. Schneider, OD Optometrist, Newton Upper Falls
You must be seen by an eye doctor. Falling asleep in contacts especially those that aren't approved for overnight wear can lead to hypoxia, inflammation and/or ulcers.
Jason Savochka
1 UpVoted this answer Mark Sibley, MD Ophthalmologist, St Petersburg
Need to leave them out overnight and be checked in the morning to be sure they are ok to be worn again.
Harry A. Lebowitz
1 UpVoted this answer Mark Sibley, MD Ophthalmologist, St Petersburg
People who sleep in contact lenses are 10-20 times more likely to develop a keratitis or corneal infection. If your eyes are irritated try artificial tears. If the you develop pain, increased redness or decreased vision you should be seen by an eye care professional immediately.
Daniel L. Sambursky
1 UpVoted this answer Mark Sibley, MD Ophthalmologist, St Petersburg
Contact lenses in general cause dryness of the eyes, but even more so when a person sleeps in contact lenses. For the immediate time being I would be lubricating aggressively every 15 to 30 minutes while awake with over the counter artificial tears such as Refresh or Systane brands. You could also purchase either Systane gel or Refresh PM ointment to instill into the eyes for additional lubrication. You should feel much better by tomorrow morning. If, however, your symptoms persist or worsen in the next 12-24 hours, then you should seek immediate examination by an ophthalmologist to rule out any possible corneal abrasion, or less likely, any serious corneal ulcer.
Emilio M. Justo
This could be extremely serious since this is one of the more common caused of permanent vision loss if an infectious corneal ulceration occurs. Seek medial attention with your ophthalmologist sooner rather than later... especially if this continues or worsens after removing the contact lenses.
Michael Brenner
Please see your eye doc. This could be serious, and needs serious treatment.
Jennifer Unger
You most likely have an over wear syndrome because of oxygen deprivation. 1 stop sleeping with your contact lenses. 2 if your eyes still bother you see and optometrist or ophthalmologist to rule out corneal ulcers that could require medical treatment. I do not like any of my patients to sleep with their contact lenses.
Donald J. Higgins
Possible causes are:

Overwear inflammation, or infection. You need to remove contact lenses and get to an optometrist as soon as possible for treatment. Corneal infection could be sight threatening.
Paul Klein
Sleeping with contact lenses significantly increases your risk of corneal ulcers and infections. Based on your symptoms, it's important to have your eyes examined as soon as possible for potentially serious complications and stay out of your contact lenses. Some of these potential problems can permanently effect one's vision. Please get into the habit of taking your contact lenses out nightly.
Dr. Rita Ellent