If you think that contact lenses involve a lot of effort, or if you wish to wake up in the morning with clear vision, you may wish to know more about extended wear lenses. Helpfully, an article on allaboutvision.com has summarised some of the benefits of this technology, as well as some of the risks involved.
Extended wear lenses mean those that have been approved for being left in overnight. They are specially designed from silicone hydrogel materials, which allow more oxygen to reach the wearer’s cornea. Many brands have been improved for up to seven days of continuous wear; however there are two brands – PureVision and Air Optix Night & Day – which can be worn for up to 30 days, allowing for an even easier contact lens experience.
Many users find that their eyes cannot tolerate wearing the lenses for this amount of time, however, so it is important to remember that these schedules are maximum time allowances. Your optometrist or ophthalmologist will be able to advise you if your eyes are suitable for extended wear lenses, and how long your eyes are likely to cope with them for.
Early studies into this technology found a greater incidence of eye infection in people who slept whilst wearing their contact lenses. Bacteria formed between the lenses and the eyes, and lack of oxygen to the area meant that eyes were less able to fight infections.
However, the technology has come a long way since then. New silicone hydrogel materials allow more oxygen to filter through, decreasing the risk of hypoxia. Many practitioners also now recommend “flexible wear” of extended wear contacts, so that users only wear their lenses overnight occasionally, rather than every night.
It is also advisable to be aware of how your eyes feel, and how they are reacting to the lenses. If your eyes appear red or sore, or if you experience reduced vision, contact your eye doctor immediately.