Question: I have a question about needing to stop wearing soft contact lenses before cataract surgery. I am in the queue for cataract surgery in the UK. I am scheduled for the measurement exam on 17 July and they have told me I must remove the left Permalens extended wear soft contact lens two weeks before the exam. I have worn Permalens contact lenses for 35 years and do not own glasses. I sleep in my lenses and change them once a month. I am very nervous how I will manage with only one lens. With Permalens lenses being so thin do I really need to remove one for 14 days? I will not be able to get to work, let alone work. Will 10 days be long enough? Could it be shorter with Bausch & Lomb contact lenses lenses?
Answer: Proper discontinuation of soft contact lens wear prior to Cataract Surgery measurements is a necessary and important step in allowing your Cataract Surgeon to obtain the best possible measurements for the calculation of the Lens Implant power. While Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP) contacts do cause significantly greater shape change in the cornea, extended wear contact lenses such as you have been using also can cause meaningful changes in corneal thickness and ultimately curvature. Someone who has worn extended wear contact lenses for 35 years needs to be certain that the cornea has fully returned to its normal physiology, shape and thickness prior to Lens implant measurements and certainly prior to the actual Cataract operation. Do not be surprised if after the initial measurement you are instructed to leave your contact lenses out for an even longer time in order for your Cataract Surgeon to fully confirm that all of the measurements are stable. it would be wise to carefully follow your eye surgeon's instructions.
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