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Posted on 10-18-2017

Extended Wear Contact Lenses: Safe to Wear Overnight

Extended Wear Contact Lenses

Extended Wear:  Technological Revolution Leads to Contact Lens Evolution

Oxygen has always been the problem with contact lenses.  Contact lenses restrict the amount of oxygen that makes it to the surface of the eye.  This causes overwear, a term used to describe a number of eye problems caused by lack of sufficient oxygen, especially over the long term.   For this reason, most contact lenses are known as daily wear, because they must be removed at night in order to allow the cornea of the eye to breathe.  The development of silicone hydrogel made it possible to increase the amount of oxygen that is delivered to the cornea, revolutionizing contact lens wear.  

Two Types of Extended Wear Contact Lenses are Available

There are two-week extended wear lenses, and 30-day extended wear lenses that are approved by the FDA at this time.   30-day lenses describe more of a maximum wearable limit for each pair of lenses, as their effectiveness varies from person to person based on their individual tolerances.    These lenses are called extended wear because they can be worn day and night.  These lenses are disposable, discarded after their recommended period of use.  

Not everyone is a good candidate for extended wear contact lenses, as problems such as dry eye and sensitivity to reduced oxygen, and an increased chance of eye infection can make it unwise to use extended wear contacts for some people under some circumstances.  An eye doctor can determine the suitability of a patient for these types of contacts.   Many of those who are not suitable for extended wear contacts benefit from daily disposables. 

The benefits of wearing extended wear contacts are the reduced amount of eye solutions necessary for use, and having 24-hour vision correction without the use of surgery.  There is an increased risk of infection due to the overnight wear of the contacts.  Infection risk is still small but is still nearly 5 times as likely in comparison to those who remove them overnight.  

Hobson Eye Associates Offers Extended Wear Contact Lens Fittings

Annual eye examinations and expert contact lens fittings make extended wear contacts a safer and more comfortable method of vision correction.  Contact lenses of any type require a lens fitting and an annual eye exam to make them a healthy option for eyes.  Hobson Eye Associates are happy to help Cobb County, GA residents choose the very best vision correction methods for their eye health and lifestyle.   Hobson Eye Associates are a full-service vision care provider for both adults and children, offering comprehensive eye exams, eye disease treatment, and vision correction services. Hobson has a full-service optical laboratory on site. Please call our Kennesaw office at 770-424-2020 to make an appointment.  

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