Since disposable contacts were introduced in 1987, there has been plenty of controversy about how frequently you should replace your contacts to keep the lenses comfortable and your eyes healthy.
A consensus opinion doesn’t seem to exist among optometrists, as evidenced by a point-counterpoint discussion of the topic published in the June 2010 issue of Contact Lens Spectrum.
Colleen M. Riley, OD, vice president of professional development at Vistakon / Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, says disposable contact lenses should be replaced every two weeks for better vision, less contact lens discomfort and fewer complications.
Offering a different opinion, Peter D. Bergenske, OD, director of professional support at Ciba Vision North America, says popular and highly oxygen-permeable silicone hydrogel contact lenses make monthly replacement sufficient, and replacing contacts on a monthly basis is easier for contact lens wearers to remember than a two-week replacement schedule.
Other eye doctors prefer weekly replacement of disposable contacts. Weekly replacement is more likely to keep the lenses clear and comfortable, and a one-week replacement schedule is very easy for lens wearers to remember and comply with, they say.
Still other eye care practitioners say daily disposable contact lenses are the best choice. With daily disposables, there is no need to remember when to replace your contacts since they are discarded after a single use. Though daily disposable contacts may be the most costly option, many contact lens wearers prefer the convenience of not having to clean and disinfect their contacts at the end of the day, and there is no need to purchase lens care products.
So which contact lens replacement schedule is best for you? That may depend on your eyes as much as your personal preferences.
To determine the type of disposable contacts and the lens replacement schedule that are best for your needs, budget and lifestyle, it’s wise to discuss all options with your optometrist or ophthalmologist.