Extended Wear Contact Lenses are a type of contact lens that attempts to deliver the convenience of being able to see without eyeglasses all of the time. For many people the ability to get out of bed each morning and not have to insert their contact lenses is important.
This is especially true if you are moderately or significantly nearsighted and can’t even get to the bathroom without your glasses. For many people the thought of having to grope around the nightstand for their glasses in order to get out of bed is not a good feeling. Especially for a mother who must get out bed in the middle of the night to tend to a sick or crying child, or simply to get to the washroom.
For these people, as for almost anyone requiring optical correction of their vision, if the hassle can be eliminated, they are happier to choose that option. Extended Wear Contact Lenses may offer many people that option.
Extended Wear Contact Lenses soft lenses are made from highly oxygen permeable hydrophilic polymeric materials. In general they are designed to allow for longer periods of time , from 7 to 30 days of continuous wear without removal,cleaning or disinfection.
These lenses allow more oxygen to pass through to the cornea. An example of these types of lenses is Focus® NIGHT & DAY™ lenses which allow for 30 nights of continuous wear.
The more advanced technology Extended Wear Contact Lenses are made from silicone hydrogel materials that offer a number of advantages. First they allow up to 6 times more oxygen to pass through than even disposable contact lenses.
In general they do not dry up as much as ordinary soft contact lenses which may be helpful to those with dry eyes who are trying to wear contact lenses. They have a special biocompatible surface treatment that decreases protein and bacteria buildup.
This is important because protein and bacteria buildup on contact lenses predisposes you to eye infections. As with all Extended Wear Contact Lenses there is always a chance of affecting eye health even if there are no apparent problems.
Although Extended Wear Contact Lenses may be very desirable because they allow you a great deal of convenience, they are by far the most risky type of contact lens you can wear (http://www.fda.gov/fdac/features/1998/298_lens.html). If you are going to wear Extended Wear Contact Lenses you must always be under the regular care of an eye care practitioner and carefully follow their instructions.