Are Extended Wear Contact Lenses Right for Me? By Gordon Wong, OD on January 21, 2023

Contact lens balanced on fingertipIf you’ve ever been to an eye doctor, you’ve heard them say “Do you take your contacts out at night?” Normally, we ask this question because we want to make sure that our patients are following the proper instructions for contact lens use. When patients answer “no,” we typically advise them to take their contacts out at night, and replace them according to the directions on the box. However, there is an exception to this advice: extended wear contact lenses. If you live in La Jolla, Carmel Valley, or the greater San Diego, CA, area, visit GW Eye Associates. We’ll guide you through what extended wear contacts are – and whether or not you may be a candidate.

What Are Extended Wear Contacts?

These contacts are a type of specialized lenses that can be worn without needing to be removed frequently, even while you sleep. Unlike traditional contacts, these lenses can let in more oxygen, thanks to their thinner material.

Why Can’t I Wear Other Contacts at Night?

As optometrists, we want you to have healthy, happy eyes. Wearing your contacts at night can compromise your ocular health and even your vision. That’s because standard contacts need to be disinfected each night with contact solution. Otherwise, you have a higher chance of infection, damage to the eye, and blindness. 

Additionally, the longer you wear a pair of traditional contacts, the harder it is for your eye to take in oxygen. Extended wear contacts specifically address this problem for safe, long-term wear.

How Long Can I Wear Extended Wear Contacts?

The specific answer is determined by which brand you choose and the material used to create the lenses. You may be able to keep them in for a few days or a week, but the longest you can typically wear a pair of extended use contacts is 30 days. Once that period marked on your contact box has passed, make sure to dispose of them and put in a new pair.

What Qualities Does a Good Candidate for Extended Wear Contacts Have?

Whether you’re nearsighted, farsighted, or have astigmatism, you may be a candidate for extended wear contacts. You will need to be compliant and responsible enough to closely follow instructions, such as taking out your contacts when it’s time to swim or when they need to be disposed of. Finally, you need to have healthy eyes, so that any chances of infection or complications are minimized. 

Not sure if you’ll like the feel of extended wear contacts? Our team offers contact lens fitting exams, so you can find a pair that’s comfortable for you.

See If You’re a Candidate for Extended Wear Contacts

From extended wear contacts to daily, disposable lenses, there are options outside of traditional contact lenses. You can explore them – and your candidacy – at GW Eye Associates. With offices in La Jolla and Del Mar, we’re a convenient choice for vision exams, prescription glasses, contacts, and more. Come visit our optometrists, Dr. Gordon Wong and Dr. Wildon Wong, to find out if you’re a candidate for extended wear contact lenses. You can contact us using our online form for more information. Patients can also call our La Jolla office at (858) 454-4699 and our Del Mar office at (858) 755-9465.

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GW Eye Associates

Our team at GW Eye Associates in La Jolla and Del Mar can provide a wide range of high-quality eye care services. Dr. Gordon G. Wong and Dr. Wildon C. Wong have over 45 years of combined experience and belong to several prestigious organizations, including:

  • American Academy of Ophthalmology
  • American Optometric Association

For more information about our services, contact our office online or call us at (858) 454-4699 today.

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