Unless you want to pay for expensive surgery, you basically have two choices when it comes to correcting your vision: you can either buy prescription glasses, or you can wear contact lenses. For decades, the only downside with contact lenses in Cape Cod was that taking them out each night and putting them in every morning became a major hassle after a while. Thankfully, some new lenses claim they can be worn around the clock! But should these overnight lenses actually be worn overnight? Keep reading to find out!
Original extended wear lenses
Overnight contact lenses, also known as extended wear or EW lenses, were originally developed in the 1980s and were approved for continuous wear for up to 30 days. Shortly thereafter, though, the FDA restricted their use to a maximum of seven days due to the risk of eye infections. Bacteria and other harmful microorganisms can get trapped between the lens and your eye. These germs thrive and grow in the warm environment, causing nasty infections and terrible vision problems down the road. Because contact lenses restrict the amount of oxygen that gets to your cornea, your body has trouble fighting off any of these infections, which may include everything from pink eye to fungal eye infections that can lead to permanent vision loss.
Newer extended wear lenses
Thanks to advances in medical technology, extended wear contact lenses are safer than ever! Most lenses nowadays are made with silicone hydrogel, which allows more oxygen to get to your cornea. More oxygen makes it easier for your eye to fight any bacteria, and reduces the risk of swelling and irritation. These softer lenses are usually meant to be thrown away in two-week intervals to ensure there isn’t a buildup of things that’ll cause eye discomfort on the lens. Other types of extended wear lenses are made of a more rigid, gas permeable material. Some eye care practitioners prefer these because the lens moves more with each blink of the eye. While this might not sound like a good thing, it actually reduces the chance of bacteria buildup behind the lens itself.
Curious about the safety of your extended wear contacts? Here are some tips:
- Talk to your doctor: The best way to stay safe regarding EW contact lenses is to always follow your doctor’s advice. EW lenses aren’t for everyone. If your doctor doesn’t think your eyes can handle overnight lenses, don’t buy them.
- Discard when necessary: Assuming you have the type of EW lenses that are meant to be disposed of, be sure you do so whenever necessary. Don’t wear old lenses for more than the recommended period of time, and always throw them out when they become uncomfortable.
Whether you choose daily wear or extended wear contact lenses in Cape Cod, be sure you buy all of your lenses from Bayview Optometrics. Come in for an eye test today and get set up with a new pair of lenses made specifically for your eyes. You’ll love seeing everything as clear as day once again with a new pair of contact lenses.