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Can you sleep with contact lenses in?

Do not wear contact lenses for at least one full day to allow your eyes to heal. Contact your eye care provider immediately if you notice any symptoms of infection or discomfort.

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Photo by Andy BELLEGARDE from Unsplash.com

Contact lenses are wonderful because they provide a near-normal vision experience without corrective glasses. But they can be easily forgotten. When preparing to sleep, even for a nap, is not the time to forget about them.

To help contact lens wearers understand the implications of sleeping in their lenses, Lens.com published an informative guide.

Can you sleep in contact lenses?

Did you know that sleeping with regular contact lenses can result in severe infection and put you at risk for vision loss? Some contact lenses, like extended wear contacts, are meant to be worn overnight. However, many are not. You can only sleep in contact lenses designed for overnight wear, such as Acuvue Oasys with Hydraclear Plus, which is approved for up to six consecutive nights of wear. 

Contact lenses are medical devices that require proper care and handling to avoid severe side effects. Yet, as little as two percent of contact lens wearers report following their eye care provider’s instructions.

What happens if you sleep with contacts lenses in?

It’s important to know the implications of sleeping in contact lenses not designed for extended wear or if they are left in too long.

  • Eye Infections. Eye infections are the most significant risk of sleeping in contact lenses not approved for extended wear. When you sleep in your contact lenses, your risk of contracting eye infections increases six to eight times. The most common infection is called conjunctivitis or pink eye. This common eye infection is mainly caused by wearing contact lenses overnight, but it can also be caused by allergies or coming into contact with someone who has it. Sleeping with your contact lenses makes you more susceptible to pink eye because your contact lenses can leave microscopic tears on your cornea, thus increasing your odds of bacteria entering and getting trapped in your eye and leading to infection.
  • Hypoxia. Oxygen is essential for the healthy function of your eyes. There are no blood vessels in your corneas (the clear tissue at the front and center of your eye), which means they get their oxygen directly from the air. Contact lenses reduce the amount of oxygen that reaches your cornea. Now imagine sleeping with contact lenses in your eyes. With our eyes shut and contact lenses, the amount of oxygen is greatly restricted and can lead to hypoxia of the eye. This extreme oxygen deprivation can cause warping, scarring, pain, and vision loss.
  • Corneal Ulcers. If your contact lenses are not taken out and cared for properly, you may cause so much irritation that you cause corneal ulcers, or open sores on the cornea, to form. These ulcers can even become so severe that they require a corneal transplant using donor tissue. Those who sleep with contact lenses not approved for extended wear are five times more likely to develop corneal infections, permanently damaging their vision.
  • Contact Lens-induced Acute Red Eye (CLARE). Tight Lens Syndrome or Contact Lens Overwear Syndrome is usually marked by light sensitivity, redness, tearing, and decreased vision. When a contact lens fits too tightly, it will stick to the cornea like a suction cup, and this will cause the cornea to swell. If not treated, You could be at risk for a severe infection that can cause a corneal ulcer leading to permanent scarring and vision loss. Contact lenses are like tiny sponges; they expand when they are moist and shrink when they dry out.
  • Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis (GPC). Wearing your contact lenses for prolonged periods or overnight can cause bumps to form underneath your eyelids called GPCs. If you wear your contacts while you sleep, you have the greatest chance of experiencing this unpleasant condition. These bumps can result in your contact lenses no longer fitting properly. If this happens, your eye care provider may ask you to stop wearing your contact lenses for a week and see if your symptoms subside.

Why does sleeping with contact lenses increase your risk of an eye infection?

After wearing your lenses all day long, napping or falling asleep means your lenses have collected pollutants, bacteria, and dirt that could increase your risk of complications. As your eye and contact lens becomes dehydrated in your sleep, the lens starts to shrink and tear at your cornea, and these microscopic tears allow an entry point for bacteria to get into your eye. Sleeping in contact lenses increases your chance of getting an eye infection six to eight times.

What to do if you accidentally sleep with contact lenses in?

Attempt to remove your contact lenses as soon as you’ve discovered that you’ve fallen asleep with them in your eyes. Make sure you follow your standard hygiene practices. If you cannot remove them easily, stop! Tugging at a dehydrated lens attached to your eye can cause tearing. Instead, place several drops of sterile contact solution on your eyes or lubricating drops. Blink several times. And try again.

After successfully removing your contact lenses, pay attention to how your eyes feel. Do not wear contact lenses for at least one full day to allow your eyes to heal. Contact your eye care provider immediately if you notice any symptoms of infection or discomfort. The signs of an eye infection are blurred vision, redness, excessive watering, and discharge from the eye. If you think you have an eye infection, your eye doctor may want to test your contact lenses, so be sure to take those with you when you visit.

Always practice safe habits following the guidelines your eye care professional provided and check with them whenever you’re in doubt.

If you are guilty of sleeping or taking naps in your contact lenses, it’s time to change your eye care routine. You may want to consider taking out your contact lenses after dinner and switching to eyeglasses so you don’t forget them before bedtime. If you are a fan of naps or have an unpredictable schedule, visit your eye care provider and ask if extended-wear contact lenses are for you. You can browse all the contact lenses you sleep in at Lens.com.

Why are some contact lenses FDA-approved for overnight or extended wear while others aren’t?

The simplest reason why not all contact lenses are FDA-approved for overnight wear is that contact lens manufacturers have to apply for FDA approval. Applying for FDA approval is a lengthy process that requires submitting studies and research documents and passing clinical trials. If a manufacturer wants FDA approval, they’d have to spend considerable time and resources.

Another reason is that contact lenses designed for overnight wear are made of thinner material compared to daily wear contact lenses.

Many contact lens brands that are FDA-approved for overnight wear are made with silicone hydrogel, which is significantly more breathable than standard hydrogel. Silicone hydrogel allows for much better oxygen transmissibility, which is essential when wearing contact lenses for extended periods.

Which contact lenses can you sleep in?

You can only sleep in contact lenses that are designed for overnight wear. Popular contact lenses rated for overnight usage include:

  • Acuvue Oasys with Hydraclear Plus can be worn daily for two weeks or continuously for up to six nights and seven days, after which they must be removed, disposed of, and replaced with a new pair of lenses. These contact lenses feature Acuvue’s innovative Hydraclear Plus. Inspired by how the eye’s tear film works, this wetting agent keeps the contacts wet and smooth for all-day comfort. These contacts block more than 99 percent of UVB and 95 percent of UVA rays – some of the highest levels you’ll find on the market today.
  • AirOptix plus HydraGlyde combines two unique technologies into one lens: SmartShield Technology and HydraGlyde Moisture Matrix technology. SmartShield Technology creates an ultra-thin protective layer to help shield your lenses from deposits and provides long-lasting comfort. HydraGlyde Moisture Matrix, on the other hand, attracts and maintains surface moisture on the lens for up to 16 hours. SmartShield Technology and HydraGlyde Moisture Matrix technology make Air Optix plus HydraGlyde very comfortable.
  • Biofinity contact lenses bring a remarkable balance of comfort and breathability in a monthly disposable lens. They are FDA-approved for extended wear, meaning they can be worn continuously for up to six nights and seven days before they need to be replaced. These contacts feature CooperVision’s patented Aquaform® Technology, which locks in water so you can enjoy all-day comfort. They also have smooth, rounded edges, enhancing comfort by minimizing interaction between your contact lenses and eyelids.
  • PureVision 2 HD contact lenses are another popular brand rated for night and day wear. Featuring Bausch + Lomb’s innovative High Definition™ Optics, these contact lenses help you see enhanced contrast, sharper details, and reduced glare, even in low light conditions. They reduce halos and give a crisp, clear vision while using digital devices or in low-light conditions. They’re made of a silicone hydrogel lens material that allows plenty of oxygen to reach your eyes, which they need to stay white and healthy.

Curious to see all the contact lenses you can sleep inVisit Lens.com to learn more.

The lenses above have been approved by the FDA for use while asleep. If you already wear these contact lenses, ask your eye care provider before using contacts during sleep. Each individual’s eye health is different and your eye care provider needs to evaluate the overall health of your eye before approving overnight use.

Can you nap while wearing contact lenses?

Generally, no, you should not nap or sleep with contact lenses. This applies to all contact lens brands and types, unless specified. Falling asleep with your contact lenses could lead to infection and irritation. While modern soft contact lenses have incredible technology to ensure enough oxygen passes through the lenses in daily wear, having your eyes closed while you sleep reduces available oxygen and prevents tears from washing your eye under the contact lenses. This can potentially cause problems to your eyes through hypoxia of the eyes unless you use specific lenses designed for extended wear, as directed by your eye care professional.

Everyone faces different challenges when getting through each day, but some days are occasionally a tad more exhausting than others. Whether you are a new parent, finishing up work for a deadline, studying for an important exam, or going through health issues that keep you lethargic all day long, there’s one thing we can all agree on, and that is a nap. Studies have shown that naps boost productivity by improving alertness, performance, and mood.

Rather than avoid taking naps, consider talking to your doctor about changing your prescription to an extended-wear contact lens.

What if I fall asleep with the contact lenses for just 10 minutes?

The duration does make a difference, but it is not the only factor to consider. In general, the more time spent sleeping in contact lenses, the greater the risk that you will develop symptoms of infection or inflammation and suffer from the more severe consequences. For example, if you sometimes fall asleep during your work transit or take naps between 10 and 40 minutes long, you are likely not exposing yourself to any long-term health-related risks. You might, however, still experience blurred vision and dry eyes for a short period. If you’re asleep for an extended period of one or more hours, then your contact lenses can dry up in your eyes, which can lead to discomfort or a scratching sensation in your eyes when you open them.

The type of contact lenses you wear matters, too. Silicone hydrogel lenses allow more oxygen to the cornea, so your eyes won’t get sore. On the other hand, hydrogel lenses might cause some redness, irritation, and burning when you wake up– which could even damage your cornea. With shorter naps, these issues are less likely to occur.

The state your eyes are in before falling asleep also matters. If you have been using your contacts only for a few hours before going to bed, then there is a lower risk of your eyes getting irritated than if you have been wearing them all day. This is because contact lenses accumulate dirt and dust, such as when worn for extended periods or throughout the day. However, if you fall asleep with your contacts in the evening and stay in your eyes all night, this is more problematic.

How do you wear contact lenses safely?

Your eye health is just too important to take a chance. Consider speaking with your eye care professional about switching to contact lenses approved for extended wear when in doubt.

If you’ve accidentally slept in your contact lenses for brief periods or rarely, here are tips to help:

  • Attempt to remove your contact lenses as soon as you realize you’ve slept in them. But do not sidestep your regular hygiene process, such as washing your hands.
  • Always have a backup plan. Carry a spare set of lenses or a pair of eyeglasses. It’s also a good idea to keep contact solution or eye drops in your purse, backpack, or office.
  • If you’ve fallen asleep on an overnight trip and realize you didn’t bring your contact lenses or cleaning supplies, find a pharmacy as soon as possible so that you can remove and clean your lenses. At the very least, put in eye drops so your lens can rehydrate and reduce the pressure on your cornea, and it is imperative to remove your lens as soon as possible.
  • Never put your contact lenses in your mouth to moisten or clean them. Saliva is not sterile and will increase the risk of an eye infection.
  • Before wearing your contact lenses again, ensure they are thoroughly cleaned and inspect them for small tears or other imperfections. If you notice any irregularities, throw them away. And start with a fresh pair. It’s always a good idea to go at least one day without contact lenses if you’ve slept in them; this will give your eyes a chance to recover.
  • If you experience any symptoms of an eye infection or discomfort, seek care from your eye care professional.

Always practice safe habits and check with your eye care professional whenever you doubt.

NewsMakers

Celebrating World School Milk Day by making milk safe and accessible to Filipino school children

Tetra Pak believes that attaining a sustainable future is anchored on initiatives protecting people and the planet. That is why alongside its efforts in ensuring safe nutrition for children, Tetra Pak is also helping promote sustainability in various communities by providing recycling training for teachers and students.

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In light of World Milk School Day, a global event celebrating the benefits and success of school milk programs, world-leading food processing and packaging solutions company, Tetra Pak, draws attention to the role of multi-stakeholder collaborations to sustainably address childhood nutrition by making fresh milk safe and accessible for everyone.

In the Philippines, Republic Act 11037 also known as an Act Institutionalizing a National Feeding Program for Undernourished Children in Public Day Care was a breakthrough development that mothered the School-Based Feeding Program (SBFP) of the Department of Education.

For the 2020-2021 School Year, it surpassed the target of providing nutritious food products and pasteurized or sterilized milk to 1.7 million beneficiaries from primary public school students in daycare, kindergarten, and elementary schools across the country. Despite the many challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, DepEd SBFP recorded an achievement rate of 183.46% for the milk component and  198.15% for the Nutritious Food Products (NFP) component for the 2020-2021 School Year.  

As the SBFP aims to reach more schoolchildren and communities, RFM Corporation, a home-grown food and beverage leader, highlights the advantages of using UHT milk or milk that went through Ultra High-Temperature pasteurization, thus is safer and has a longer shelf life. This is an important feature considering infrastructure challenges and the lack of refrigeration to distribute the milk in far-flung areas.

Tetra Pak has been helping RFM Corporation deliver Selecta Kids Fortified Milk in Tetra Wedge® Aseptic 200ml Slim, a carton package that protects both the nutritional value and the taste of the milk for up to 12 months. Introduced in 2021, so that children in various parts of the country could have access to safe nutrition, Tetra Wedge® Aseptic Slim uses aseptic technology to ensure that the packaging materials and product inside it are free from harmful bacteria. Like all Tetra Pak carton packages, it’s made of renewable materials and recyclable paperboard, making it one of the best ways to feed the future sustainably.

According to Ms. Marie Concepcion-Young, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Consumer Group of RFM Corporation, “Milk help school kids reach their physical and cognitive potential. Aside from making it accessible, it is imperative that the milk stays fresh and safe even as we transport it to hard-to-reach areas or those with limited storage facilities.” 

During the first phase of SBFP Milk Component, Selecta Kids Fortified Milk in Tetra Wedge® Aseptic 200ml Slim was delivered to schools in Bicol, Davao, and Soccsksargen regions benefitting 359,557 school children. Tetra Pak together with Tetra Laval Food for Development is likewise providing practical support where they share best practices in school milk programs organization and implementation, as well as providing environmental education.

“For decades, we have been working with our customers and relevant stakeholders to support school feeding programs around the world because we believe these are effective in addressing poor health and nutrition in disadvantaged communities,” said Michael Wu, Managing Director, Tetra Pak Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, and Indonesia.

He adds that “We are committed to making food safe and available, everywhere.  That is why we make sure that school children get all the goodness of milk to have the energy to stay in school and get that brain boost they need for learning.”

Tetra Pak believes that attaining a sustainable future is anchored on initiatives protecting people and the planet. That is why alongside its efforts in ensuring safe nutrition for children, Tetra Pak is also helping promote sustainability in various communities by providing recycling training for teachers and students.

“Whether it is addressing food availability or environmental concerns, we believe that real, lasting impact in society can be achieved if stakeholders work together,” Wu concludes.

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NewsMakers

The Bellevue Resort leads international coastal cleanup #SeaTheChange in Bohol

The Bellevue Resort – Bohol is a two-time ASEAN Green Hotel awardee, proudly a leader for sustainability.

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More than half a thousand volunteers from local organizations and private sectors, including frontliners, professionals, employees, students, divers, and many more gathered together to collect and segregate an estimated 1,713 kg of non-biodegradable waste at the recently concluded 37th International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) day hosted by The Bellevue Resort in Doljo Beach, Panglao, Bohol.

The Bellevue Resort – Bohol is a two-time ASEAN Green Hotel awardee, proudly a leader for sustainability. This eco-friendly five-star hotel has consistently spearheaded meaningful initiatives for responsible tourism in Bohol since its opening in 2012. Today the resort continues to head and take part in various efforts to promote environmental protection and conservation in the Philippines.

To know more about the resort, visit www.thebellevuebohol.com.

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NewsMakers

5 Affordable and simple ways everyone can be an eco warrior

Understanding that collective effort is the way to go, retail giant SM Supermalls is committed to helping all Filipinos make more environmentally friendly choices in every aspect of their life.

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From changing weather patterns to disease outbreaks, we are already feeling the effects of global warming. We need to act now and work together in protecting the planet.

Understanding that collective effort is the way to go, retail giant SM Supermalls is committed to helping all Filipinos make more environmentally friendly choices in every aspect of their life.

“Many people care about the planet but find it hard to create a green lifestyle because of limited time or budget. That’s why we have community programs that make it more convenient and affordable to be an eco-warrior,” says Jonjon San Agustin, SVP for Marketing, SM Supermalls.

Here are five easy ways on how you and your family can live greener.

Segregate your trash and Trash to Cash

Segregating your biodegradable and recyclable waste reduces the amount of trash that goes into landfills. Have separate containers for different kinds of trash: biodegradable for food and garden waste; recyclable for plastic, paper, and metal waste; residual waste for trash that can’t be recycled including used tissue or paper plates; electronic waste for old batteries or broken gadget which shouldn’t be mixed with other waste because they contain metals that can contaminate the soil.

You can bring your recyclable waste to SM Supermalls’ Trash to Cash Recycling Market, held 10 am to 2 pm on every first Friday and Saturday of the Month. Visit this link to find the kiosk locations near you.

Limit the use of plastic through Plastic Waste Collection

Did you know that it takes plastic over 1,000 years to decompose?

About 10% of plastic materials will end up in the ocean and can kill marine life. In the Philippines, plastic waste often congests sewage systems causing floods. You can avoid using single use plastic by bringing your own reusable containers or eco bags when going to the groceries.

You can also buy items in eco-friendly packaging.

Plastic cutlery and straws are optional during order delivery or takeout. For dine-in, you can have your own eco-kit which has a drinking bottle, a set of utensils, and a foldable eco bag. Go green anytime and anywhere!

You can also recycle your plastic waste through SM Supermalls’ Plastic Waste Collection programs. Make it a fun weekend and volunteer for SM by the Bay and SM Mall of Asia’s regular ocean clean-up drives.

Plant a garden

Plants help stop climate change by removing carbon dioxide from the air. If you don’t have a large yard for a garden, you can still get houseplants! There are many creative and beautiful ways to add more plants to a small home like using a backless bookshelf or installing vertical gardens.

Get plants, tools, and expert tips on how to take care of your home garden at SM Mall. You can also find beautiful containers like terrariums and plant hangers that are made by Filipino SMEs.

Buy eco-friendly products

Choose more environmentally friendly products to gradually create a sustainable lifestyle.

Environmentally friendly products can be reusable or biodegradable. They are usually made from sustainable materials with eco-friendly packaging. They also produced less toxic waste during manufacturing and after disposal.

You can find thousands of eco-friendly products within SM malls through the recently launched Green Finds pop-up stores. The selection of products can help go green in every aspect of your life.

Reuse as much as you can

Before you throw anything away, consider if the item can be either upcycled into something useful, or donated to someone who needs it. SM holds regular toy and book drives, where you can even get discount vouchers to use in the store.

Join the Green Movement

The SM Green Movement is a collective effort of SM, its customers, communities, and partners to promote green living, green culture and a green planet. For more information, visit this website.

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