If you’re keen to leave your contacts in without the hassle of taking them out each night, extended wear lenses might be for you.
They’re soft lenses that are made to be worn continuously for longer periods, some for around a week – all the way up to a month.
“These are lenses you can sleep in,” says Bupa optometrist Karen Makin. “Some people like that convenience of putting them in and not having to worry about them for a set period of time.”
Extended wear contact lenses are made of silicone hydrogel, so they allow more oxygen to pass through to your cornea. They work well for people with active lifestyles or unpredictable schedules, like shift workers or those who travel regularly.
“Some people who get extended-wear contact lenses still wear them on a daily basis, taking them out each night. But they like the reassurance that if something happens where they need to sleep in them – they get called in for work or go camping, for example – they can.”
You don’t have to buy as many contacts as you would if you used daily contacts, so it can be cheaper. But your optometrist will be able to let you know if extended wear lenses are right for you.
“You’ll still need to clean them occasionally by taking them out and putting them in disinfectant solution - and ensure you throw them away when the month is up” Makin says. “The cleaning process is hugely important. It takes about the same time as brushing your teeth and it just becomes routine.”
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