June Newsletter: The Pros and Cons of Extended Wear Contact Lenses

Woman puts in her contact lens.

The Pros and Cons of Extended Wear Contact Lenses

Extended wear contact lenses are definitely a convenient option, but are they the right choice for you? Taking a look at the advantages and drawbacks of these contact lenses will help you make this decision.

What Are Extended Wear Contact Lenses?

Extended wear contact lenses can be worn for seven to thirty days before removing them, depending on their type. They're made of thin, breathable silicone hydrogel, a material that allows more oxygen to pass through the lenses to your cornea. If the cornea doesn't get enough oxygen, you're more likely to develop inflammation or infection. Some rigid gas permeable (RGP) lenses are also suitable for extended wear.

Extended Wear Contact Lens Pros

Extended wear contact lenses offer several benefits that may make them a good choice for you, including:

  • Convenience. Since you rarely remove extended wear contact lenses, they're an excellent option if your job or hobbies make it difficult to remove or clean your lenses. You might prefer to wear these lenses if you enjoy multi-day hikes on mountain trails or work in a job that requires long hours.
  • Less Cleaning. If you hate cleaning your contacts, you'll love extended wear contact lenses. Since they're designed to be worn continuously, you'll spend much less time cleaning them.
  • Less Touching. Do you dislike touching your eyes when putting in contact lenses? When you wear extended wear lenses, you'll minimize the time you spend putting in and taking out your contacts.
  • Clear Vision Day and Night. If you're severely nearsighted or farsighted, wearing extended wear contact lenses means you can see clearly from the moment you wake up until you go to bed. You'll no longer have to pat your nightstand in search of your glasses in the morning.
  • Cost. Daily contact lenses cost significantly more than extended wear lenses. If cost is a concern for you, you may decide that extended wear contact lenses offer a better value.

Extended Wear Contact Lens Cons

Extended contact lenses also have a few drawbacks, including:

  • Shorter Actual Wear Schedule. Although extended wear contact lenses can be worn for seven to 30 days, not everyone can tolerate wearing the lenses that long. Your optometrist will tell you how long you should wear the lenses during the fitting process.
  • Possible Sleep Issues. Some people also find that sleeping in the lenses irritates their eyes. Regardless of how long you wear your extended wear lenses, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration recommends sleeping without the lenses for at least one night after the end of the scheduled removal date. All About Vision notes that a flexible wearing schedule might be a good compromise. If you follow a flexible schedule, you'll remove the lenses at night but can sleep in them occasionally.
  • Risk of Infection and Eye Issues. Wearing contact lenses increases your risk of eye infections whether you wear daily or extended wear contact lenses, but extended wear lenses carry a higher risk. According to the British Contact Lens Association, wearing contact lenses to sleep increases the risk of an infection by four times, no matter what type of lens is worn.
  • No Swimming or Showering. Any type of contact lens, including extended wear contact lenses, should not be worn while swimming or showering. The lenses can soak up germs in the water that may cause corneal infections. Bacterial keratitis, a common eye infection among contact lens wearers causes eye pain, redness, tearing, light sensitivity and blurred vision. Prompt treatment is necessary to prevent permanent damage to your vision if you develop keratitis.

Need help finding the perfect type of contact lenses for your lifestyle? We'll help you consider all the options and recommend the ideal lens for you. Contact our office to schedule an appointment with the optometrist.


U.S. Food & Drug Administration: Focusing on Contact Lens Safety


All About Vision: Extended Wear Contact Lenses: Are They Safe, 2/27/2019


British Contact Lens Association: Infection and Contact Lenses


Review of Cornea and Contact Lenses: Extended Wear: Still an Option?, 11/15/2017


CDC: Contact Lens Types, 1/11/2022


American Academy of Ophthalmology: What Is a Corneal Ulcer (Keratitis)?, 11/21/2023


Office Hours


9:00 am-5:00 PM


9:00 am-7:00 pm


9:00 am-5:00 PM


9:00 am-7:00 pm


9:00 am-5:00 PM





  • "My whole experience was great. The entire staff was beyond friendly, helpful, and professional. Not to mention, the building itself was clean, spacious, and well kept. I recently switched to Herman Eye Center last year and I'm SO glad I did. Everyone just seemed so happy and cheerful!"
    Courtney, Scott Depot
  • "Dr. Herman was very knowledgeable and professional; the very best (excellent) in explaining his findings and corrective procedure. His office staff were very personable and helpful. Wish I had found them many, many years ago,, but I'm in excellent hands now and feel very comfortable about my future there."
    Jacqueline, Hurricane
  • "hello, i was a new patient , and i really enjoyed the family feeling you get when you are there. my doctor and staff are awesome, and they want to help you in any way they can.
    i would tell everyone i can how wonderful the company is. THANK YOU"
    Shawna, Winfield
  • "Great experience! I have been going to Dr. Herman for 7 years now. He is a great doctor. He is very friendly and takes the time to get to know his patents."
    Megan, Hamlin
  • "I am always impressed when they welcome me by name as I walk in the door, treat me like I am the only person in the room, move me swiftly from test to test and then am greeted with a smile and professional handshake by Dr. Travis. I walk away knowing that I have received an excellent exam and confident with the prescription. I have referred several people to Herman because they are the best I have ever experienced in the industry and I like to pass good news along to my friends."
    Brenda, Scott Depot
  • "Best optometrist in the valley. The staff are exceptional. I highly recommend and give them five stars"
    Timothy, Hurricane
  • "The staff is always very professional & pleasant. Dr. Herman has been very helpful throughout my years of being his patient. I would not consider seeing anyone else for my vision care. Every visit is a pleasure"
  • "Staff is always courteous and helpful"
    Peyton, Webster Springs
  • "Everyone was so friendly and knowledgeable. Dr. Herman was great! He actually took the time to talk and get to know me. A great first time experience at Herman Eye Center!"
    Angela, Hurricane
  • "I love the fact that dr herman took the time to talk to me and get to know me. That's how all doctor should be. Definitely will see him again"
    Jonathan, Scott Depot
  • "I just love Dr Travis and he is always professional with me and all my eye care needs."
    Sherry, from Leon