Stop Press: Eden Eye is now able to offer silicone hydrogels which also correct astigmatism. We have had early access to Purevision Torics since we took part in the New Zealand trials of this contact lens.

99% of people wearing latest technology silicone hydrogel lenses are able to sleep in them successfully. Huge oxygen permeability and a tendency not to dehydrate mean longer periods of safe comfortable wear. Although they can still be worn on a conventional basis, extended wear offers a convenient alternative to standard disposable lenses, and some people choose them over laser surgery. The practicality of being able to see as soon as you wake up in the middle of the night (to attend to children for example) is obvious.

Silicone hydrogels worn continuously offer an ideal option for people with busy lifestyles, because they eliminate the tedious daily hassle of inserting, removing and cleaning lenses. They can be worn 24 hours a day for up to a month, and then discarded.

Participants in a US study undertaken by the FDA found silicone hydrogel lenses performed better than their usual disposable lenses in terms of comfort, handling and eye health. Even if your optometrist does not advise overnight wear for you, or if the idea of sleeping in lenses does not appeal, they can of course be worn day to day and stored in solution overnight like conventional lenses and still offer all of their advantages. Since the oxygen supply to the eye is so great, silicone hydrogel materials have tremendous health advantages for every contact lens wearer, especially when thicker lenses are needed for higher prescriptions. There's the additional security of knowing that accidentally wearing lenses for too many hours, or accidentally snoozing in the lenses is highly unlikely to cause harm.

There are two brands of soft contact lenses approved for up to 30 days and nights of continuous wear. The optometrist will decide which best suits your eyes. As well as reducing dryness they are not as floppy as some lenses and so are easy to handle. Their silicone hydrogel material allows 5 to 6 times more oxygen to pass through the lens to your eye compared to ordinary soft disposable lenses. That's like not having a lens there at all.

You should not sleep in contacts when you have a cold, flu, or other illness which makes you feel run down. Some contact lens complications are symptom free, and can only be spotted by the optometrist. Because of this, regular checkups are essential. Redness, blurring or "foreign body" sensations are indicators to remove any lenses immediately and seek advice.

What makes the difference with this contact lens material? Check out our contact lens FAQ

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