How Long Do Contact Lenses Last?

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How long contact lenses last will depend on the manufacturer, how thick the contact is and how much protein the patient makes. Choose between monthly, two week and daily contact lenses with advice from an ophthalmologist in this free video on contact lenses.

Part of the Video Series: Eye Care & Vision Problems
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Video Transcript

My name's Dr. Alan Watson. I'm an ophthalmologist, in St. Joseph, Missouri, and we're here today to talk about eye problems. How long do contact, soft contact lenses last? Typically, it depends on the manufacturer or how thick the contact is, how much protein the patient makes. Some patients tend to make lots of protein and it accumulates on the contact, and it's sort of like the barnacle on a ship's hull. It the problem with these proteins as they accumulate on the lens is it provides little high spots in the tear film, and so the patient; frequently, when their lid goes over that they get a foreign body sensation where those high spots of the protein is coming through the tear film and raking the inside of the lid. That can cause other problems. Those protein accumulations frequently can degrade the image coming through the soft contact, so most contact lenses shouldn't be worn more than a month. There are a daily soft contact lens where you just change it out daily. For a lot of patients that tends to be expensive. There's other ones that last for two weeks. I generally don't recommend sleeping in a contact lens. There are some silicon based silicone based contact lenses that some people sleep in, but I generally don't think that's a good idea, because when the eyelids closed over them some of those patients have trouble with not enough oxygen getting to their cornea at night. This has been Dr. Alan Watson, Ophthalmologist, at St. Joseph, Missouri, discussing different eye problems, and the treatment of different eye problems with you.


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