Contact lens are often prescribed with a specific replacement schedule suitable to your specific needs. Planned (or Frequent) Replacement contacts are disposed of and replaced with a new pair according to a planned schedule.
Unplanned replacement lenses (often called conventional lenses) are not replaced according to a pre-determined schedule. They are typically used for as long as they remain undamaged, usually around 12 months for soft lenses. Interest and demand for conventional lenses has dropped signifcantly over the past several years as the cost of replacing your lenses more frequently has come down significantly.
Why Replace Lenses Frequently?
Almost immediately after they are inserted, contact lenses begin attracting deposits of proteins and lipids. Accumulated deposits, even with routine lens care, begin to erode the performance of your contacts and create a situation that presents a greater risk to your eye health.
A specific replacement schedule helps to prevent problems before they might occur. Contact lens wearers, in turn, enjoy the added comfort, convenience and health benefits of a planned replacement program. Planned replacement lenses are generally a thinner design or are made of different, more fragile materials with a higher water content than unplanned replacement or conventional contact lenses.
Based on a complete assessment of your needs, a prescription for planned replacement lenses may call for replacement:
• Every 1-2 weeks
Except for daily disposables, planned replacement lenses require cleaning and disinfection after each period of wear unless they are discarded immediately upon removal. Planned replacement lenses can be worn as daily wear — removed before sleep — or as extended wear, if recommended by your practitioner.