A big problem with traditional contact lenses has been that the longer you wear them without taking them out, the more uncomfortable they get. It’s not always convenient to remove your contacts every night. Some people have jobs that require them to function more than 24 hours in one stretch. Also, if you wear contacts, you can sometimes find yourself in a situation where you can’t really take them out when you go to bed, such as an overnight campout in a wilderness area where there aren’t any bathrooms, lights or water. Many cataract patients are even required to wear contacts 24-hours-a-day right after their surgery. Fortunately, new types of contact lenses have been developed, like Acuvue Hydraclear contact lenses, that are made with a new technology that helps alleviate this problem, and allows for significantly longer wearing times than before.
When you will be needing to wear your contacts for extended periods of time, and especially when you need to wear them overnight, most doctors now will write a prescription for contacts, like Acuvue Hydraclear contact lenses, that are made from a relatively new substance called silicone hydrogel. Contacts that are designed to be worn overnight without removing them are called “extended wear” contact lenses. With the invention of silicone hydrogel, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved extended wear lenses made with silicone hydrogel to be worn for periods up to 30 days at a time without removing the lenses at all. Prior to this, most extended wear lenses could only be worn for up to a week at the most.
The problem with wearing standard contacts too long is that your eyes are made of living tissues which need oxygen continuously, and standard contact lenses can block the circulation of oxygen to your eye tissues. This can lead to eye infection and other problems, like serious corneal abrasion, growth of blood vessels onto the cornea, corneal ulcers and severe corneal scarring. Silicone hydrogel, like that found in Acuvue Hydraclear contact lenses, avoids these problems because it allows 6 or 7 times as much oxygen to reach your eyes as with regular contacts. Contacts made with silicone hydrogel also tend to feel less dry and more comfortable.
Silicone hydrogel has been a real lifesaver for contact lens wearers who need to wear their contacts for more than one day non-stop. Extended wear lenses have become even more convenient now that they can be worn for an entire month without being removed, as opposed to only one week as before. The new silicone hydrogel technology has even been extended to other disposable lenses, and Toric lenses for people with astigmatism. Whatever your needs, there is probably a lens available for you that makes use of the new silicone hydrogel technology. If you want to experience it for yourself, ask your doctor to prescribe a pair of Acuvue Hydraclear contact lenses for you. You’ll find a new comfort and convenience that you’ve never had before with your contacts.