Introduced in 1987, disposable contact lenses were formulated to improve upon the complications of conventional soft contact lenses, including shortened lens life, patient discomfort and infections. Soft contact lens patients were excited to have a lens designed to be disposed of before problems arose. Disposable contact lenses revolutionized the contact lens industry, enabling more patients the ability to see without the burden of eyeglasses.
Wearing schedule refers to how often contacts are removed. Daily wear, flex wear, extended wear and continuous wear are four types of disposable contact lenses that vary in the way they are FDA-approved to be worn.
- Daily wear. Lenses are worn during waking hours only.
- Flex wear. Lenses may be slept in for a night or two, such as over a weekend.
- Extended wear. Lenses may be worn during waking hours for up to six consecutive nights.
- Continuous wear. Lenses are approved to be worn during waking and sleeping hours for up to 30 consecutive nights.
Replacement schedule refers to how often lenses are discarded and replaced. Typical replacement schedules include the following options:
- Daily disposables
- Weekly disposables
- Monthly disposables
- Quarterly disposables
Disposable Contact Lens Candidates:
An eye care practitioner can tell you if your particular prescription is available in disposable contact lenses. There is a large selection of disposable lenses available today, including contacts for astigmatism, bifocal contacts and contacts that change your eye color.
Some people find that disposables are the only contacts their eyes can tolerate, especially those with allergies, since their contacts tend to need replacing often. Wearing colored contact lenses can be fun, too, if you'd like to change your eye color now and then. Your eye doctor can ultimately help you decide which contact lenses are best for you.