Extended wear contact lenses

I just got back from my eye doctor, who I haven’t seen in four years (I’m not lazy, I’m just broke) and at the end of our session, he asked me, “You’re taking your contacts out every day, right?” and I said, “Of course not, they’re extended wear!” And he said, “Not anymore – the FDA recalled them all.” Huh? When did THIS happen?

Then he told me, people were having problems with extended wear, in particular, something about blood vessels growing in the cornea due to lack of oxygen, which makes you, well, go blind. He said he found “ghosting” of vessels in my eyes – good enough for me! :eek: – and while there’s a couple types of extended wear that are now FDA-approved, it’s only been in the last few months that they’ve been available.

Hmm, looking for what my question is…oh yeah…when did this FDA recall take place?? I don’t always follow the news very closely, but you’d think a story like THIS would get tons of press, like Fen-Phen or the whole silicone implant thing…I know all about those, and I’m not fat nor do I have small breasts. :smiley: So what’s the story here?

I don’t think my roommates have taken their contacts out at all in the past several months.

Here’s a list of FDA medical recalls as of Sept. of last year. There are some contact lenses that were recalled but it was for unapproved dyes and improper labelling of strength/fit.


I used to wear the extended wear lenses and I did the same thing as a lot of people, which was the wrong thing, putting them in and taking them out once a week or even a month for a quick cleaning and sticking them back in. The proteins clog the pores, and then they are no longer gas permeable, which can screw up your eyes in a bad way. Within a year I lost one and when I got a replacement people started telling me how cool it was that I had one blue eye and one green eye. The original lens was actually yellow when looking at them side by side. I don’t think there was an actual recall, but I think they stopped making the long term ones for a while and that’s why daily, weekly and monthly disposables are the ones available now. Not that they are any better for the eyes than the ones years ago, but it limits the possibility of a lawsuit most likely.

I used to sleep in my contacts for weeks at a time, and they were daily wear:eek: I remember when I woke up my eyes would be all super dried out, and it would take several minutes for me to see clearly. I used to get a lot of eye infections back then too. I quit sleeping in them when my optometrist told me I was growing blood vessels in my eyes to compensate for the lack of oxygen. One thing I’ve always wondered about is if the blood vessels would atrophy and disappear if one stopped wearing contacts entirely.

I have known for years that sleeping in my contacts was depriving my eyes of oxygen, but I am lazy about taking them out. I was told never to sleep in them when I first got them, about 10 years ago. But I never listen.

Never had a problem (yet), but I guess I should look into the new ones!

I just got my disposable extend wear contacts refilled in late september. I have heard nothing from my doctor. I put them in for a week and take them out and throw them away like I am instructed to, and I have no problem. Of course what do doctors know anyways.

If you can afford it the best way to go is the weekly disposables. I wore glasses for ten years, daily wear for about six years, extended wear for another six, then I got disposables.

If you sleep with them in you’re supposed to throw them out after a week. If you don’t, two weeks. When I first got them, being lazy and a cheapskate, I slept with them in and kept them for two weeks. I just didn’t want to take a step back to the daily wear routine of having to remove them each day.

However I’ve found that because they’re disposable you don’t have to bother with rubbing them with the cleaning drops or putting them in a heat disinfector or worry about protein deposits because you just throw them away after only two weeks. You just take them out and put them in a case of multipurpose solution overnight. When you get up you just put them back in. It’s really not the hassle that daily wear were. And I had no problems or discomfort at all.

And above all its a really REALLY bad idea to sleep in them!! Your eyes just aren’t meant to function like that.

I have had contacts for about 12 years now. I use to leave them in for months at a time and not think a thing of it. A few years ago my father had surgery for detached retinas and i have been very cautious since then about my eyes. Obviously the detachment had nothing to do with contacts, however knowing what he had to go thru (eye surgery and the fact that he can hardly see now) has really hit home. I cant imagine possible blindness! So PLEASE PLEASE take those contacts out!!

I don’t know how long you have to wear them for…

But I have heard stories of contact lenses drying out and AFFIXING THEMSELVES TO THE RETINA. This is painless, and it’s really not possible to tell. (This has been documented to be caused by the instant drying effect caused by very birght sparks and mild electric shocks).

So when you eventually squeeze them to take them out…


I have no idea what the story is with extended wear, or how long it would really take to dry out a lens…

But if you’ve ever let an old lens dry out and listened to that story you will MAKE SURE you always take them out!

And I’m no optometrists, but MONTHs does seem a little too long for me.


Ice Lord Ssarl, You mean cornea, right? The retina is in the back of the eye, and the cornea is in the front.