How long can you wear contacts?

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Updated: 1/14/2003 2:31 pm
The length of time you can wear your contact lenses depends on several variables. The primary factor is how long the lens is designed to be worn. It may be a daily-wear lens, which means you insert it in the morning and remove it before sleeping, or it may be what's known as an ""extended-wear"" lens, which means it's designed to be worn overnight for one to seven days. Another type of contact lens is a disposable lens that's worn only once and then discarded. Daily-wear lenses come in hard and soft varieties, and there are several variations within those categories, each with a recommended wearing time. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions for cleaning and disinfecting your lenses to ensure the maximum safe wearing time. The length of time you can wear your contacts also depends on your health and the condition of your eyes. If you have an eye infection, or your eyes are swollen or red because of an injury, inflammation, disease, allergy, pollutant, trauma, or other cause, you may be able to wear your lenses for only a short time, or not at all. If you notice before inserting a lens that it's chipped, torn, or otherwise damaged, be sure you don't put it in your eye, because it could damage the cornea or other parts of your eye.

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