Contact lenses are available in one of two wearing schedules. Daily wear lenses are the kinds of lenses you remove before bedtime, or before you fall asleep. On the other hand, extended wear (EW) contacts feature lenses that you can wear overnight. In the US, the FDA determines which lenses can be worn for an extended period. Most lenses that are sold are sanctioned for daily wear.
How Extended Wear Lenses Are Made
While daily wear lenses are thicker, extended wear contacts are made of a material called silicone hydrogel. The advanced soft lens is more breathable, which allows more oxygen to make contact with the cornea of the eye. An optometrist in Chicago can direct you in your selection for this type of vision product.
Several extended wear lenses have been FDA-approved for wear for up to seven days at a time. Current lenses in this category may also be approved for up to 30 days. For instance, gas permeable lenses have received FDA endorsement for up to a month of continuous wear. These wearing times are the maximum duration allowed. Many optical patients cannot tolerate wearing EW lenses for the optimum permitted time.
Continuous Wear—Are You a Good Candidate?
When you are fitted for contact lenses by an optometrist, he or she will let you know if you are a good candidate for wearing EW lenses. If you can wear the contacts, you will be told how many days of continuous wear your eyes can handle. You can obtain further details from optical specialists at places such as Tropical Optical Corp.
One survey found that extended lenses prescribed during a four-year period showed that 70% of the users wore the lenses to correct farsightedness or nearsightedness. Around 14% reported that the lenses were prescribed for an astigmatism. Ten percent of the respondents said their extended wear contacts were used for presbyopia. As you can see, the lenses can be used in a variety of situations. Find out if you can benefit from their use and talk to an optometrist today.