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Sleeping in your contact lenses can lead to this dangerous infection, experts say

Posted: 12:21 PM, Dec 19, 2018
Updated: 2018-12-19 18:08:24Z
contact lenses

(WXYZ) — Sleeping, or even napping, in your contact lenses can put you at risk of dangerous infections, according to experts.

Infections of the cornea such as microbial keratitis can lead to further serious health problems. According to the CDC, an estimated one million annual outpatient and emergency visits were due to keratitis.

“Sleeping in your contact lenses is risky and can lead to infections, or in some cases, permanent damage,” said Jon Femling, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, University of New Mexico School of Medicine and lead author. “Falling asleep, or even napping, without removing your contact lenses can significantly increase the likelihood of serious health problems.”

Common cases include a man checked for eye redness and blurry vision who reported sleeeping in contacts 3 to 4 nights per week and swimming with them. He was treated for fungal microbial keratitis. Another man wore his same lenses for weeks and was diagnosed with perforated cornea and bacterial infection. He ultimately had to get a transplant to save his right, according to experts.

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