Why can contact lenses be worn all day without issue, but nap with them in for an hour and they get glued to one’s eyeballs and one’s eyes get gunky.

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Why can contact lenses be worn all day without issue, but nap with them in for an hour and they get glued to one’s eyeballs and one’s eyes get gunky.

In:

I don’t wear contacts but I’m going to assume its because you’re not blinking enough to keep your eyes moist…

The eye is a self cleaning mechanism. That’s what blinking and tears are all about. However, this mechanism is shut down during sleep, so your eyes stay shut. Contacts irritate the eye, but you can learn to tolerate it. However, without the cleaning mechanism, the irritation is much more painful.

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Well you actually produce less tears when asleep. When you sleep your eyes are closed meaning that you simply don’t need to replace tears as they are lost through evaporation or being rubbed away. These tears also act as a lubricant for your contacts when your eye moves. During sleep we enter something called rem. Rapid eye movement sleep. As you can imagine a lack of lubrication and all this eye movement doesn’t do good for your eye. This causes irritation and thus the gunk as a defense mechanism against the irritant. In this case your contact lens.

I take mine out once every 5 weeks, to throw away. Not sure what the glue/gunk is about, no issue for me.

PSA: Never nap in your lenses! I used to be super lazy about taking them out and fell asleep in them. This caused a bacterial ulcer on my eye which was insanely painful and has left a permanent scar on my cornea. I am incredibly lucky that it wasn’t a millimetre to the left, otherwise I would be looking at that scar all of the time.