Pros and Cons of Continuous Wear Contact Lenses

By Gordon Wong, OD on March 31, 2019

Contact lensesContact lenses sit directly over the cornea to compensate for refractive errors and provide an uninterrupted, clear field of vision.  At Gordon Wong Eye Designs & Optometry, we offer a wide range of contact lens options.

The greatest decision patients need to make about contact lens treatment is whether they are better candidates for daily wear contact lenses or continuous wear contact lenses. The main difference between these two lenses is that daily wear lenses are removed each night, while continuous wear lenses can stay in while a person sleeps.

Here, we present some of the pros and cons of continuous wear contact lenses so that our La Jolla, CA patients can get a better idea of whether these types of contacts may be right for them.

Pro: Convenience

For most patients, the primary advantage of continuous wear contact lenses is their convenience. Having to remove and clean contact lenses each night can be a hassle. This is especially true for people who have unconventional schedules or schedules that change from day to day.

Since continuous wear contact lenses can stay in the eyes for days at a time (typically up to one week), they require less care.

It is also more convenient to wake up in the morning and already have clear vision, rather than having to spend time inserting your contact lenses for the day.

Pro: High Oxygen Permeability

Another advantage of continuous wear contact lenses is that they are thinner than daily contact lenses and have high oxygen permeability. This means that oxygen is better able to reach the cornea through the contact lens.

On average, continuous wear contact lenses are five to six times more oxygen permeable than daily wear contact lenses, which is why it is safe to wear them for an extended period of time.

Con: Greater Risk of Infection

Despite the high oxygen permeability of continuous wear contacts, these lenses do carry a greater risk of infection than daily wear lenses.

This is because bacteria and other microorganism can get trapped between the contact lens and the eye. These types of organisms thrive in the warm, moist environment that exists beneath the contact lens and the eye.

Even though continuous wear contact lenses do allow oxygen to reach the eye, it is still reduced, which makes it more difficult to fight off infection.

However, as long as a patient wear extended lenses as directed, infection should not be a problem.

Con: Limited Candidacy

Another disadvantage of continuous wear contact lenses is that candidacy is slightly limited. Because of the increased risk of infection, only candidates with optimal eye health should consider continuous wear lenses.

Learn More

If you are considering contact lenses and would like to learn more about the pros and cons of continuous wear lenses, the experienced team of eye doctors at Gordon Wong Eye Designs & Optometry would be happy to answer any questions you may have. Contact us online at your earliest convenience to learn more, or call (858) 454-4699 to schedule an appointment at our La Jolla practice.

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