The Effect Of Alcohol Consumption On Contact Lens Comfort

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Consuming alcohol has a dehydrating effect on your body, including your eyes. Symptoms of dry eyes can become worse after a night out. Contact lens wearers should be even more careful. Especially falling asleep with your contact lenses can be very harmful to your eyes.


Many people experience dry eyes and dry contact lenses during a night out. Why is that?

Read on to know more about how alcohol can affect your eyes and contact lens comfort.

The Importance of Being Hydrated

Our eyes stay moist because the lacrymal gland constantly produces tears. If you are dehydrated, the number of tears produced will decrease, leading to dry eyes.

Dry eye symptoms include grittiness, discomfort, tired eyes, redness, and watery eyes. Being hydrated is essential to prevent or ease dry eye symptoms.

Contact Lens Wear and Oxygen Supply


Our corneas depend on tears to stay moist and receive oxygen. Tears and oxygen supply to the cornea can be diminished by wearing contact lenses. This will also result in dry eye symptoms.

That is the reason contact lens wearers are much more often and more severely affected with dry eyes.

Dehydrating Effect of Alcohol

Alcohol consumption has a dehydrating effect on your body. It acts as a diuretic, making your body remove fluids from your blood, thus dehydrating you. So if drinking alcohol means dehydrating your body and wearing contact lenses means diminished tears and oxygen supply to your cornea, the combination will result in even more severe dry eye symptoms.

Even worse is falling asleep with your contact lenses. This might happen after consuming a lot of alcohol and has a severe risk of hypoxia (lack of oxygen) of your cornea, which will result in severe eye problems, like infections or corneal ulcers. After sleeping with your contact lenses, your lenses might also be sticking to your eyes and be hard to remove. This can also result in damage to your cornea.


The combination of alcohol consumption and contact lens wear can lead to severe dry eye symptoms. To make matters worse, after too much alcohol consumption, you might forget to take out your contact lenses before going to sleep, which can lead to severe eye problems.

Contact lens wearers should be aware of the added risk of contact lenses and alcohol consumption on their eyes.

Always stay hydrated and take out your lenses before sleeping.


  • Wear regular lenses instead of color lenses. Color lenses are thicker than regular ones, so oxygen transmittance to the cornea is lower.
  • Pace your alcohol intake
  • Stay hydrated with water
  • Avoid smoke
  • Apply rewetting drops
  • Take nutritional supplements such as omega-3 or lutein to protect your eyes

If you suffer from dry eyes, get an exam today to find the best treatment for your eyes.

Every patient deserves top-quality eye care from us. European Eye Center focuses on providing Western-standard services and determining appropriate treatment plans to help patients restore their vision in a feel-like-home atmosphere.

We are happy to help if you have questions about swollen eyes, other eye conditions, and our primary services. Don’t hesitate to connect with us at

Contact us today to schedule an eye care service!

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Ann De Fraye

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