Contacts are made of plastic. But it’s not all the same kind of plastic. The material determines how long you can safely wear them, both daily and over the long term.
Your eyes need oxygen to stay healthy, and different plastics ‘breathe’ better than others. This makes certain types of contact lenses acceptable for sleeping.
Some plastics are also prone to mineral deposits, which naturally occur from contact with tears. Deposits can make your vision cloudy or cause infection. If you don’t clean your lenses properly, or if you wear them longer than the prescribed amount of time, you risk complications like corneal ulcers and inflammation.
Wearing your lenses too long probably won’t cause problems immediately. But over time, microscopic changes may be occurring to your eyes. This can add up to pain, blurred vision and serious eye injury.
So make sure to give your eyes a rest when recommended, and get your lenses evaluated at least once a year. Your eye care provider will make sure the schedule suits you, check that your corneas are healthy, and offer new products that may better suit your lifestyle. Also if you’re looking for extended wear contact lenses, try Biomedics 55, Frequency 55, or Purevision contacts.