Doctor, doctor: Contact lenses and wax earplugs

I've heard about contact lenses you can wear through the night and the day, so you don't have to take them out before sleeping. Are they healthy for your eyes, or are day lenses still the best option?
My friendly optometrist says that these lenses work well for her ­clients and that she recommends them. I talked to the manufacturers, too, and they eased my two ­concerns – that the lenses might not let enough oxygen through them at night to keep the eye surface healthy, and that they might cause dry eye. There's little chance of­ ­either, apparently, because they let more than enough oxygen through them even when the eyes are shut, and they contain enough moisture to prevent dry-out. That said, h­owever, our optician recommends that if you have especially dry eyes, you should use drops if you do plan to use these lenses. They last for up to 30 days, but must then be replaced. There's no evidence that they cause more infections than daily lenses, and most people are happy with them – it seems that once they start using these, they rarely return to daily lens changing.

I have taken to using wax earplugs every night and now can't imagine getting a good night's sleep without them. However, sometimes my ears feel blocked in the mornings – could I get infections from these wax plugs, and is it OK to use them each night?
You shouldn't get infections from wax plugs as long as you clean them regularly according to the ­instructions. The ear canal isn't ­exactly germ-free, and plugs that don't scratch the skin and fit snugly are safe. I'm more concerned about why you need them. Is your ­bedroom noisy? Is there any way you can make it quieter? Or do you have ear trouble that keeps you awake? Sometimes it's easier to fall asleep to music on a radio with a "snooze" button than to have ­complete quiet, which can ­accen­tuate your perception of your body's internal noises, such as the heartbeat in your carotid artery (in the neck) or tinnitus. After all, sometimes you need to be able to hear odd noises in the night – such as a fire alarm or the cry of someone in distress, for example. Would your earplugs prevent you hearing them?

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