Continuous wear lenses

These lenses are often known as ‘extended wear’ lenses as they can be left in the eyes for a set period of time. These lenses do not have to be taken out at night which is good news if you have a tendency to forget to do this.

They are a very convenient type of lens as this means no cleaning, soaking and rinsing which some people find time consuming and off-putting.

You wear these lenses continuously for a week or a maximum of 4 weeks before being replaced with another pair of lenses. The lenses are designed in such a way to allow easy passage of oxygen to the eye which keeps it healthy and prevents the risk of an infection.

These lenses are made from a substance called ‘silicone hydrogel’: a relatively recent innovation in contact lens technology which enables the greatest amount of oxygen transference to the eye.

Concerns about the safety of continuous wear lenses

But, there are opticians and other eye professionals who are uneasy about these lenses as they argue that not enough oxygen reaches the eye which can cause problems. Plus the longer they are worn for the greater the risk of an eye infection as there is time for bacteria and other micro-organisms to build up on the surface of the lens.

They also have concerns about people wearing these lenses as they sleep as this may also lead to infections.

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