Top 5 Extended Wear Contact Lenses Brands

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Extended wear contact lenses brands are brands that are approved for overnight wear, meaning that you can sleep with your contact lenses. In this article, I will list the top extended wear contact lens brands.extended wear contact lenses brands - sleeping with contact lenses

Why Extended Wear Contact Lenses?

The idea of a contact lens brand that you can sleep with every day for up to a month without having to take them out and clean them is very attractive to many people. Except for that one time every month where you have to swap for a new pair, it would be like having perfect eyes.

 

The contact lens industry is well aware of this desire, so when the technology allowed for it, they began creating what’s known as extended wear contact lenses – contacts that you can sleep with.

The Challenge of Making Extended Wear Contact Lenses Brands

The Risk of Sleeping With Contact Lenses

Oxygen deprivation

Few people know that the cornea of the eye primarily get the oxygen it needs to function directly from the air.

When we put contact lenses in our eyes, we cover the cornea which reduces the amount of oxygen that reaches it. Luckily, today’s contact lens technology allows enough oxygen to pass

extended wear contact lenses brands - cornea

through the contact lens material to ensure healthy corneal function… while you’re awake.

When you’re asleep, not only do you have contact lenses covering your cornea, but your very own eyelids do too (assuming you’re not one of these people who sleep with their eyes open).

Wearing contact lenses all day, combined with having your eyes closed all night can eventually start to cause problems for your cornea due to slowly being deprived of oxygen.

Irritation

The other obvious problem with sleeping in contact lenses is the irritation that it causes of the surface of your eye.

For most people, our eyes tend to become dryer when we sleep. Contact lenses are not your friend when they become dry. They lose their soft smooth surface and start to create irritation through friction with the surface of your eye.

Why Extended Wear Contact Lenses are Not For Everyone

There are so many things that can prevent someone from successfully and safely sleeping with contact lenses that to make a long story short: Only people with perfect, pristine eye health tend to be able to do it.

Top 5 Extended Wear Contact Lenses Brands

Air Optix Night&Day Aquaextended wear contact lenses brands - Air Optix Night&Day Aqua

Air Otpix Night&Day Aqua is the most well known extended wear contact lens brand, and the most commonly prescribed by optometrists who want to sleep with their contact lenses. The reason why this is the first brand that comes to mind for this purpose is that it’s extremely high in oxygen transmissibility.

Dk/t is a number that represents how much oxygen can pass through the material of the contact lens. The higher the Dk/t, the better it is for overnight wear.

Air Optix Night&Day Aqua Dk/t: 175 @ -3.00

FDA approval: Daily wear and extended wear for up to 30 continuous nights as prescribed by an eye care practitioner.

 

The following is taken from www.accessdata.fda.gov. The full text can be viewed here.

APPROVAL FOR THE FOCUS NIGHT AND DAY (LOTRAFILCON A) SOFT CONTACT LENSES FOR EXTENDED WEAR. THE LENSES MAY BE PRESCRIBED FOR EXTENDED WEAR FOR UP TO 30 NIGHTS OF CONTINUOUS WEAR, WITH REMOVAL FOR DISPOSAL, OR CLEANING AND DISINFECTION PRIOR TO REINSERTION, AS RECOMMENDED BY THE EYE CARE PROFESSIONAL.

Note that originally, these lenses were branded as Focus Night&Day and later re-branded to Air Optix Night&Day Aqua.

Air Optix Aquaextended wear contact lenses brands - Air Optix Aqua

That’s right, Air Optix Night&Day Aqua is not the only brand in the Air Optix family that is FDA approved for continuous overnight wear. Air Optix Aqua is also approved, but it’s not usually prescribed as a contact lens you can sleep in because its breathability is not as high as it’s cousin Air Optix Night&Day Aqua. Nevertheless, it can be great for those who only need to sleep with contact lenses once in a while.

Air Optix Aqua Dk/t: 138 @ -3.00

FDA approval: Daily wear and extended wear for up to 6 continuous nights as prescribed by an eye care practitioner.

 

The following is taken from www.accessdata.fda.gov. The full text can be viewed here. 

AIR OPTIX AQUA (LOTRAFILCON B) AND IS INDICATED FOR THE FOLLOWING: THE LENSES MAY BE PRESCRIBED FOR DAILY WEAR OR EXTENDED WEAR FOR UP TO 6 NIGHTS OF CONTINUOUS WEAR WITH REMOVAL FOR DISPOSAL, OR CLEANING AND DISINFECTION (CHEMICAL, NOT HEAT) PRIOR TO REINSERTION, AS RECOMMENDED BY THE EYE CARE PROFESSIONAL.

Biofinityextended wear contact lenses brands - Biofinity

For about a decade, Biofinity has been one of the most popular monthly contact lenses on the market. It is most commonly prescribed for daily wear, meaning that you remove and clean the lenses every night, however, it can also be prescribed for extended wear for up to 6 nights and 7 days.

Biofinity Dk/t: 116 @ -3.00

FDA approval: Daily wear and extended wear for up to 6 continuous nights as prescribed by an eye care practitioner.

 

The following is taken from accessdata.fda.gov. You can read the entire document here. 

BIOFINITY® (comfilcon A) Contact Lenses may be prescribed for Extended Wear for up to 6 nights and 7 days of continuous wear. It is recommended that the contact lens wearer be first evaluated on a Daily Wear schedule prior to overnight wear.

Acuvue Oasysextended wear contact lenses brands - Acuvue Oasys

Acuvue Oasys is possibly one of the most popular brands of contact lenses of all time. It is mostly prescribed as a 2-week lens for daily wear, but some optometrists even prescribe it as a monthly lens (off label) because it stays comfortable for so long. It is not often prescribed as an extended wear brand, but it is FDA approved for such use up to 7 days.

Acuvue Oasys Dk/t: 147 @ -3.00

FDA approval: Daily wear and extended wear for up to 7 days as prescribed by an eye care practitioner.

 

The following is taken from FDAnews.com and you can read the entire article here.

Johnson & Johnson (J&J) unit Vistakon has received FDA approval for an additional indication on its Acuvue Oasys brand contact lenses to include up to seven days of extended wear.

PureVision2extended wear contact lenses brands - PureVision2

PureVision2 may not be as well know as Acuvue Oasys, Air Optix, or Biofinity, but it is comparable to all of them, if not better, in all metrics. PureVision2 is most known for its sharp, aspheric optics and is most commonly worn on a daily basis for 30 days. What’s not so well known about PureVision2 is that it is also FDA approved for up to 30 days of continuous wear.

PureVision2 Dk/t: 130 @ -3.00

FDA approval: Daily wear and extended wear for up to 30 continuous days as prescribed by an eye care practitioner.

 

The following is taken from www.fda.gov and you can read the entire letter here.

The Pure Vision 2 (balafilcon A) visibility tinted contact lens is indicated for daily wear or extended wear from 1 to 30 days between removals, for cleaning and disinfection or disposal of the lens as recommended by the eye care professional.

You may notice that the letter the above quote was taken from is actually a warning letter to Bausch + Lomb for marketing PureVision2 in such a way that was not approved by the FDA. But this was in relation to PureVision2’s ‘High Definition’ optics, not its status as an extended wear contact lens brand.

What About Bausch + Lomb ULTRA?extended wear contact lenses brands - Bausch + Lomb ULTRA

ULTRA by Bausch + Lomb can be seen in many ways as the successor to PureVision2. It has a higher Dk/t, and a much higher comfort profile than PureVision2, so it must also be approved for extended wear, right?

Acuvue Vita Dk/t: 163 @ -3.00

Well… no.

Whether or not it would pass FDA approval for extended wear is irrelevant if Bausch + Lomb isn’t interested in seeking that approval, which it isn’t.

Not FDA approved for overnight wear.

 

Apparently, and not surprisingly, the process of gaining FDA approval for extended wear contact lenses is long and expensive.

In the early 2000s, PureVision was the first extended wear contact lens brand to get FDA approval for overnight use, making going through the process very worth it. However, since that time, there have been many other extended wear contact lens brands, and since most of them are never used for that purpose, Bausch + Lomb probably decided to drop the extended wear approval process for ULTRA.

And What About Acuvue Vita?extended wear contact lenses brands - Acuvue Vita

Acuvue Vita is a new monthly contact lens by Johnson & Johnson. It also happens to be Johnson & Johnson’s only monthly contact lens. But can you sleep in it?

Well, based on its oxygen transmissibility, you would think that it would be eligible for FDA approval of overnight use.

Acuvue Vita Dk/t: 147 @ -3.00

But it isn’t.

The story goes a lot like the Bausch + Lomb ULTRA story. It’s not that Acuvue Vita was denied FDA approval for overnight use, it’s just that Johnson + Johnson didn’t bother with it.

Not FDA approved for overnight wear.

 

It would appear that these days the masses have given up on the idea of wearing their contact lenses 24/7 (for the most part) and so the contact lens companies aren’t wasting their resources in marketing their lenses that way anymore.

If you have experience sleeping with any of the brands mentioned in this article, please share it in the comments below!

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