Understanding the Technology of Extended Wear Silicone Hydrogel Lenses
Contact lenses have come a long way since their inception, and one of the most significant advancements in recent years is the development of extended wear silicone hydrogel lenses. These lenses offer wearers the convenience of long-term use without compromising their eye health. In this article, we will delve deeper into the technology behind these lenses and explore their benefits.
Silicone hydrogel lenses are made from a unique combination of materials that include silicone and hydrogel polymers. This combination allows for increased oxygen permeability, meaning that more oxygen can reach the cornea. The cornea requires oxygen to stay healthy, and inadequate oxygen supply can lead to eye discomfort, redness, and even corneal neovascularization, the growth of new blood vessels on the cornea.
With the old traditional contact lenses, limited oxygen permeability often posed a problem for wearers, especially those who chose to wear their lenses overnight. However, silicone hydrogel lenses are designed to allow up to five times more oxygen to pass through compared to conventional soft lenses. This increased oxygen flow leads to improved ocular health, especially during extended wear periods.
Extended wear silicone hydrogel lenses were specifically developed for wearers who need to keep their lenses on for extended periods, including overnight. These lenses have unique features that make them ideal for continuous wear. One notable feature is their high water content, which allows the lens to remain moist and comfortable for more extended durations. Moist lenses are less likely to cause discomfort and irritation, even during extended wear.
Another key feature of extended wear silicone hydrogel lenses is their exceptional wettability. The lenses have a surface that attracts and retains moisture, ensuring that the lenses stay hydrated throughout their usage. Maintaining lens moisture is vital for preventing dryness, which can cause discomfort and irritate the eyes.
Furthermore, silicone hydrogel lenses are known for their high resistance to protein deposits. Protein deposits occur naturally in the tear film and can accumulate on the lens surface over time. These deposits can cause lens fogging and reduce lens performance. However, silicone hydrogel lenses are designed to repel protein deposits, helping to maintain clear vision and lens comfort.
The combination of increased oxygen permeability, high water content, excellent wettability, and resistance to protein deposits makes extended wear silicone hydrogel lenses a superior option for wearers who require continuous lens wear. These lenses provide exceptional comfort and clarity of vision even during long periods of use.
It is important to note that, despite their advanced technology, extended wear silicone hydrogel lenses are not recommended for everyone. They may not be suitable for wearers with specific eye conditions or those who have shown sensitivity to certain materials in the past. It is crucial to consult with an eye care professional to determine whether these lenses are suitable for your individual needs.
In conclusion, understanding the technology behind extended wear silicone hydrogel lenses sheds light on the advancements made in the field of contact lens technology. These lenses offer wearers the convenience of extended wear without compromising their ocular health. With increased oxygen permeability, high water content, excellent wettability, and resistance to protein deposits, they provide superior comfort and clarity of vision. However, it is essential to consult with an eye care professional before considering the use of these lenses to ensure they are the right fit for your eyes.