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The art of vision......experience the extra time and care we take

continuous wear

Extended wear contact lenses that can be worn continuously day and night were developed in the 1970’s by John De Carle. The “Permalens” was fitted and remained in the eye until – well whenever. There was no set regimen for removal and cleaning and, despite this seemingly naïve approach to wear, the lenses were worn with reasonable success.

However, it became clear that all was not well with the cornea (the window of the eye), and research showed that the oxygen needs of the cornea whilst the eye was closed during sleep, were not being met. It was not until the late 90’s, with the advent of silicon-hydrogel contact lens materials, that a lens was developed that transmitted all the oxygen the cornea needed. It was felt that now that the holy grail of a successful soft continuous wear lens had been reached. At last the perfect continuous wear contact lens material had been developed, all the adverse ocular changes associated with early lens types had been resolved, and a new dawn of trouble-free, continuous wear had been achieved.

Unfortunately despite the very high oxygen transmission of silicone hydrogels and frequent replacement regimens afforded by disposable lenses, it became clear that eyes wearing lenses continuously were more susceptible to eye infections than eyes wearing lenses on a
daily basis.

Today, continuous wear silicon-hydrogel contact lenses, supplied on a monthly or weekly replacement cycle, are available and, although the higher risk of eye infections still exists, the strategies for avoiding and dealing with adverse ocular reactions are well established, thus minimising the occurrence and potential consequences of any event.

No contact lens use is risk free and the chance of an adverse event

can be minimised by following the guidelines.

1. Never use continuous wear lenses overnight when you have a heavy cold or ‘flu.

2. Wash hands thoroughly before insertion and removal.

3. Never cheat on prescribed wearing/disposal cycle.

4. If your eyes are red or sore or have blurred vision when you
wake up, seek professional advice immediately.

Never:
1. Go to bed with a painful red eye – seek advice immediately
2. Bring any contact lens into contact with tap water
3. Rinse your lenses with saliva
4. Wear your lenses for swimming (unless you use goggles)

Ask yourself these questions:

• Do my eyes look good?
• Do my eyes feel good?
• Do my eyes see well?

If you cannot answer “yes” to all three, seek professional
advice immediately.