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Disposable Contact Lenses

We live in a disposable society. Most people think of that as a sad thing, but when it comes to your contact lenses, disposables simply make more sense than more traditional contact lenses. Regular contact lenses are meant to be worn repeatedly, and require disinfecting and careful cleaning between wearing. A doctor may prescribe conventional contact lenses that must be removed every day, or extended wear contact lenses that can be worn for up to a month before being removed. Disposable contact lenses also come in daily and extended wear varieties. It's not the length of time that determines whether a lens is disposable or not. It's the fact that they are meant to be worn just once, and then thrown away and replaced with a new, clean pair. The wear time can be as short as daily, or as long as a month.

Benefits of disposable contact lenses?

Are you considering disposable contact lenses, but aren't quite sure yet? Comparing the pros and cons of using disposable contact lenses can help you decide.

The biggest advantage to disposable contact lenses is obviously the convenience. Wear-once disposable lenses means that you never have to worry about cleaning, disinfecting or storage. You take out your lenses and throw them away. The other important advantage of disposable contact lenses is the decreased risk of infections and irritation caused by buildups of protein or other materials on the surface of the lens. Because you wear the disposable contact lenses only once, there's less chance for harmful deposits to build up on the lens. Deposits of lipids, chemicals and minerals happen naturally, and are a major cause of irritation and infections that are associated with contact lens wear. Disposable contact lenses greatly reduce the risk of infection and irritation caused by contacts.

Are disposable contact lenses right for you?

Disposable contact lenses aren't for everyone, but there are lenses available for more than 90% of contact lens wearers. The biggest potential disadvantage of disposable contact lenses is the cost, but prices are coming down. When you factor in the cost of lens cleaning solutions, disposable contact lenses, even daily disposables, can be nearly as inexpensive as extended wear or conventional soft contact lenses. Buying them online or through a discount eye house can make them as inexpensive as a dollar a day.

Another biggest factor in determining if disposable contact lenses are right for you is your prescription. If your prescription is a simple, common one to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness or even astigmatism, it's very likely that there are a variety of disposable options made in that prescription. The more specialized your prescription, the less likely it is that a manufacturer makes a disposable version, or that you'll have a choice between daily disposables and more extended solutions.

How long can you wear a pair of disposable contact lenses?

Many manufacturers offer disposable ‘dailies’ that are designed to be put in the morning, and disposed of at the end of the day. Next morning, just pop in a new pair. It may be tempting to try to save money by wearing them for longer than your doctor prescribes, but doing so increases the risk of infections and complications. Stick to the wear schedule given to you by your doctor, whether it's daily replacement or a more extended period.

What is the correct replacement schedule?

The right replacement schedule is the one that your doctor prescribes for you. It may actually differ from the package directions if your eye doctor feels that you need to replace them more often. The one hard and fast rule in wearing disposables is that you only wear them once. Do not attempt to disinfect and reuse disposable contact lenses. They're not made to withstand the chemicals.

Finally, even if you tried wearing contact lenses but couldn't because of frequent eye infections or sensitivity to contact lens solutions, disposable contact lenses may make it possible for you to get rid of your glasses in favor of contacts. Disposable contact lenses reduce the chance of eye irritation and infection because they're not reinserted and don't use cleaning solutions. If you'd like to try contact lenses again, check with your doctor to see if he'd recommend a disposable contact lens for you.

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