Author: A. Nutt
With the increasing popularity of special effects contact lenses, a common question that arises is - "How many times will I be able to use them?" The answer to this question is dependant upon many factors - who manufactured the lenses, what purpose the were designed for and how well you take care of them could all be major factors in how many times you can wear your special effects lenses.
Quality and Design
You've heard the old saying, "you get what you pay for?" Well, expect it to hold true for special effects contact lenses as it does for many of life's important purchases. If you only spent three dollars for your cat eye special effects contact lenses from the Halloween section at the convenience store at the gas station, don't expect to get very many wears out of them. You're more likely to end up with an eye infection than a long term fashion accessory from such a purchase.
If you go to a licensed eye care professional and spend money on a nicely designed and quality lens, then you could very easily wear them for several months without having any problems what so ever.
It isn't necessarily the cost that determines exactly how many wears you'll get out of your special effects lenses though, you could pay top dollar for a pair of one time lenses that were custom made. The possibilities are almost limitless when it comes to design, amazing artists can hand craft painted designs, the likes of which would have been impossible just a few years ago, onto clear lenses for special sequences and scenes on TV or in movies. It's likely though that some of these ornate designs would be very uncomfortable or would hinder vision to the point that it wouldn't be advisable to wear them for more than a few hours.
Even if you do go through the proper sources to obtain your lenses and pay for a quality product from a licensed distributor of contact lenses, it's very possible that the type of lens you choose may only be suitable for a single wear. You need to check with your optometrist to see if the design you want is available in an extended wear lens or whether the manufacturer only makes it in a disposable or single wear style.
How you take Care of Them
You can buy top quality extended wear special effects contact lenses that could last you probably as long as you'd like them to, but if you don't take care of them as per the instructions they won't last nearly as long as they could. People who already wear contact lenses regularly and know the process of keeping them in good condition shouldn't have any problem caring for special effects lenses, the cleaning and storage process may even be exactly the same as their prescription lenses. Some specialty lenses may require extra care to ensure a long life, but it should be very similar to regular contact lens maintenance.
You may, however, want to go the extra mile with your special effects lenses as far as care is concerned because good ones will likely cost you a lot more to replace than a regular set of contact lenses - especially if they are prescription, and a similar pair may be much more difficult to find. Even if you are very careful with your special effects lenses, they can still get lost, or rip and become unusable, that's why it's best to take every precaution when it comes to the care and storage of these special lenses.
If you are in the market for a pair of special effects lenses that will be with you for a while, your best bet is to pay the extra money for a high quality extended wear lens, and then take care of it as best as you possibly can - that way, barring any unforeseen accidents, you can have your lenses for as long as you want to wear them.
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