Eye Doctor Shares Graphic Photos to Warn Against Sleeping in Contacts

An eye doctor from North Carolina posted graphic images to warn people against sleeping in their contact lenses. (Photo Credit: Vita Eye Clinic/Facebook)

It might be tempting to not take your contacts off before bed, however, graphic images of an eye ulcer that formed when someone slept with their soft lenses might make you think twice about it.

Patrick Vollmer, an eye doctor who works at the Vita Eye Clinic in Shelby, North Carolina, posted stomach-churning photos of a patient he recently treated, who had a cultured pseudomonas ulcer from wearing their contacts when they slept, The New York Post reported. Vollmer shared the graphic images on Facebook and urged people to think about the harmful consequences of sleeping with contacts.

“The pictures below show a referred case from the local urgent care, a subsequently cultured pseudomonas ulcer, and are the direct result of sleeping in contact lenses. Pseudomonas (bacteria) is an important cause of ocular morbidity and its opportunistic characteristics quickly lead to permanent blindness,” Vollmer wrote on Facebook. “This will be the 4th case of cultured pseudomonas that I’ve treated in my clinic.”

According to Vollmer, this bacteria “explosively” eats away at the patient’s cornea in days and leaves a soupy, dead tissue once the dirty deed is done. Thankfully, Vollmer was able to administer the patient fortified antibiotic drops “around the clock” and steroids to reduce the risk of permanent scarring. Even though the patient’s eye is improving, it’s very possible she might have some residual vision loss after treatment.

Despite people stating that they “are fine” when they sleep with their contacts, Vollmer is against this practice, since it could result in infections and permanent vision loss.

“To be very clear, I don’t ever recommend sleeping in any brand of SOFT contact lenses. The risks outweigh the benefits every time. It takes seconds to remove your contacts but a potential lifetime of irreversible damage if you choose to leave them in,” Vollmer added. “People need to see these images and remind themselves/family/friends to also be aware of contact lens misuse.”

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