The development of silicone hydrogel for the manufacture of contact lenses has had a great impact on the development of new types of lenses. The most important aspect to silicone hydrogel is that it allows a large amount of oxygen to reach the eye and this is vital for maintaining good eye health.
Extended or continuous wear contacts are contact lenses that can be worn overnight and in some instances for a maximum of up to 30 days before they are replaced. The use of contact lenses for such a long period of time is something that needs to be discussed with your eye care professional first, since one month is the maximum period and this may not be a suitable alternative for everyone. It is also possible to adopt a more flexible schedule and to sometimes sleep in the lenses, so long as safety guidelines are adhered to.
The reasons for the concern is the greater risk of eye infection, since if any bacteria do get in under the lens, it makes a suitable habitat for them to proliferate. The advent and increasing popularity of disposable contact lenses has also reduced the popularity of extended wear contact lenses because they do away with the need for cleaning and storing lenses. However, for some waking up with perfect clear vision is still a reason to get extended wear lenses.
Some of the most well-known brands of extended wear contact lenses include the Air Optix Night & Day and PureVision brands.
Extended Wear Contact Lenses in Nutshell
- Can be worn for up to thirty consecutive days
- Can sleep in them
- Not suitable for everyone
- New extended wear lenses allow high levels of oxygen to reach the eye