Contact lenses are now available for the majority of prescriptions, including near and farsightedness, astigmatism, and bifocal (reading) corrections. On top of that, advancements in contact lens materials have made them more comfortable, and healthier than ever before. Of course, each patient is unique: please ask your optometrist about your specific situation.
Virtually everyone will experience some dry eye symptoms at times, whether during computer use, in dry, cool, or breezy environments, or triggered by medications. By choosing the correct contact lens material, replacement schedule, solution, and rewetting drops, comfort can be maximized while the risk of complications is minimized. Not everyone is a candidate for full-time contact lens wear, but many patients can enjoy the benefits on a part-time schedule for athletic or social events, or the occasional day at the beach.
Silicone hydrogel materials have dramatically increased the permeability (or ‘breathability’) of contact lenses. In some situations, this allows for overnight lens wear for periods of up to one month. However, not all patients are suited for this modality of wear, and the risk of complication (including infection) remain higher for continuous wear than for daily wear. It is critical that you work with your optometrist to ensure that your continuous wear experience is positive; in this case, it’s far better to ask for permission than for forgiveness!
Today, the majority of contact lens corrections are available in a disposable format, where the patient proactively replaces the lenses to help avoid complications. Your optometrist will customize the replacement schedule to your specific needs, taking into account your wearing time, environment, tear chemistry, and other factors. Replacement may be as frequent as daily, or as infrequent as monthly.