How Long Can You Wear Contacts (And Why)?

How Long Can You Wear Contacts (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 8 to 16 hours

A contact lens is a tiny, curved lens that is inserted into the tear film that covers your eye’s surface. The lens is naturally transparent however, it is frequently tinted to make them more comfortable for wearers. Contact lenses are now available in two different types: hard and soft. The latter is currently the most common, but glass-blown contact lenses were once popular.

Countless millions of individuals wear contact lenses throughout the world however, you wouldn’t know it by looking at them.

How Long Can You Wear Contacts

How Long Can You Wear Contacts?

Types of contactsWearable for
Disposal contacts8 hours
Extended wear contacts1 to 2 weeks

It might be tough to know how long to wear contacts each day for lifelong glasses wearers or those who are new to contacts. Contact lenses come in a variety of types, from daily and one-time wear to FDA-approved overnight lenses, allowing for a wide range of wear times.

As a general rule, you should be able to wear your contacts for the whole day. For some people, this period can be as long as 16 hours each day, while for others, it may only be eight hours per day.

The type of contact lens you’ve been given is an essential aspect to consider how long to wear contacts each day. Most contact lenses should not be used overnight because they increase the chance of infection in the eyes. Contact lenses made for long-term wear can be worn overnight, but always follow your doctor’s recommendations.

Although certain contacts are designed to be worn for lengthy periods, it’s vital to remember that the longer you leave a single set of contact lenses in your eyes, the greater the risk of infection. Contact lenses used over an extended time might cause the following problems:

  • Inflammatory keratitis: An open sore on the cornea’s outer layer
  • Hypoxia is a shortage of oxygen in the body that can cause aberrant blood vessel development in the cornea.
  • Corneal stem cell damage is required to keep the cornea clean for excellent eyesight.
  • Contact lens discomfiture can be caused by chronic inflammation.

Why Can You Wear Contacts For So Long?

When you put on contact lenses for the first time, you may feel some discomfort, and it may take a few minutes, hours, or even days for your body to adjust. To give your eyes time to adjust, try wearing contact lenses for around eight hours on your first day, or as long as your doctor recommends.

Ensure that your eyes are responding well to the contact lenses and that no difficulty or irritation has occurred during this period. Whether you’re new to contacts or a veteran pro, any pain or irritation should be reported to your eye doctor.

Individual factors such as dry eyes, work environment, or heightened sensitivity might cause the difference in length of time to vary from person to person. Others with dry, sensitive eyes can’t wear contacts for as long as those who don’t have these symptoms. If that’s the case, switching to contacts developed particularly for dry, sensitive eyes may be a good idea.

Contact lenses are now available in a variety of styles. Starting with the lenses that are worn daily, wear them during the day and remove them for cleaning at night. Disposable lenses are worn throughout the day and thrown at night and can be worn for up to 8 hours depending on the manufacturer and your doctor’s advice. Extended-wear contact lenses are used for one to four weeks before being changed.

Contact lens maintenance may appear intimidating at first, but it is quite straightforward. Follow these steps to properly care for and utilize your contact lenses to lower your risk of infection or inflammation:

  • Before picking up lenses, wash your hands with soap and dry them with a lint-free cloth.
  • When you remove your lenses, clean, rinse, and disinfect them according to the product label’s directions.
  • Only use sterile contact lens solution that has been made commercially. Water should not be used on lenses since it might contain germs and pathogens.
  • Wearing contact lenses overnight is only recommended if your doctor has suggested it.
  • Clean your contact lens storage case regularly, and change it as suggested by your doctor.
  • Never use contacts that have beyond their expiration date.
  • Any irritations or infections in your eyes should be reported to your eye doctor.


While using contacts is a secure and reliable approach to enhance eyesight, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure that they function well for you. As you test on different contact lenses, you’ll be able to have such conversations with your eye doctor. You could decide that daily wear contacts are best for you, or you might prefer weekly or monthly contacts. Take your time since everyone is unique. Find the perfect match for you.


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