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What are extended wear contact lenses?
Medically reviewed by Alastair Lockwood on 7 January 2021
Extended wear contact lenses are lenses that can be worn continuously, day and night, for a limited amount of days (typically up to seven days, although some offer a longer duration). That means, you’d be able to put your lenses in on Monday, then wear them day and night, without needing to take them out, until the next Monday.
Convenient for those with a hectic lifestyle, you won’t have to worry about taking these lenses out and cleaning and storing them in solution every night. Whether it’s 6pm or 2am by the time you go to bed, you won’t have to remember to take them out until the week’s done.
This type of wearing schedule is not suitable for everyone’s eyes, however. That’s why it’s highly advisable to speak with your optician to find out if you can wear extended wear lenses. In addition, if at any point your eyes feel dry or irritated, or your lens has picked up any dirt, it’s recommended to remove your lenses and to clean them in fresh solution. Also, be aware that the longer the use of the same contact lens, the more likely an infection may occur.
Which type of contact lenses are suitable for extended wear?
Only some two weekly and monthly contact lenses can be worn as extended wear lenses, and you’ll generally see this information stated on the packaging. However, as mentioned, you should also speak with your optician to see if extended wear with these lenses is suited to you and your eyes.
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