Thanks for your email and your question.
What I’m going to tell you is the real truth about this but don’t rush to make any conclusions before you finish reading all the way down. The answer will be a bit longer then you would really want it to be. I’ll try to write the same stuff in Persain later and will put it on my weblog, but it is just quicker now to type it in English:
Just five years ago nearly nobody in Iran could realize the fact that we need to change our lenses as frequently as we can. Yes you read it right: as frequently as we can! Why? Because the plastic materials (whatever they are) absorb some proteins and fat from the tears in the eye. Let me reword it: your lenses are always in touch with your eyes, but between the lens and the eye there is always some tears (you know, the watery liquid the eye produces). So that watery liquid, is not just water, it has very important proteins and fats in it (and by the way these proteins and fats are exactly what I have been working on as a research project these last two years). Now, some of the proteins and fats stick to the surface of the lens and you get rid of them by washing the lenses with lens care solutions. Some of the proteins penetrate into the contact lens and you can not wash them away with anything. They get into the lens, they start going bad and change the contact lens structure from inside. You will not see any of this even with the instruments available to eye doctors (optometrists, ophthalmologists), unless the lens is really ruined.
Back again to history (and I’m really happy to call it history): five years ago I personally was involved in begging the doctors and importer companies to stop telling people this awful sentence: “I’m giving you these contact lenses, they will work for you 5 years!” That sentence is an absolute lie. There have never ever been any lenses anywhere in the world with a 5-year life time. The lenses used in Iran at that time were supposed to be used 6-12 months. Do you know who told them to say five years? Some people who thought Iranians will not be ready to pay the price if you tell them these lenses are for 6-12 months. Why they thought so? 1) Because they have negative minds 2) Becasue they are not eager to spend time talking to people 3) Becasue they think people will never understand why lenses should be changed, they (people) will think that this is all about selling more lenses to them.
Now back to your question and a straight answer to your question (and some people will hate me for telling you this):
1) Yes! Air Optix (previously called O2Optix) is a monthly lens! You can keep the lens in your eyes for six nights a week, taking it out of your eyes on night seven. You can repeat this cycle only four times and then you should THROW it away. Wait!!! Read on!!!!
2) Your doctor may not know this (that lenses should be thrown away one month after opening the lenses)!!!! Why? Because they recieve the contact lenses from importer companies who think doctors will not take these lenses if they will know the lenses are monthly!!!! So, what the companies do instead? They tell the doctor: “look, these lenses can be used for three months if people do not sleep in them.” Wait!!! Read on!!!!
3) Using your lenses for three months is really not too bad! Why? Because if you are wearing Air Optix instead of those “5-year” (excuse me ????!!!! @**#) lenses, you are still far far ahead of other lens wearers in Iran!!!! Air Optix (honestly) is currently one of the top 2-3 lenses in the world, and I would personally say it is the best lens – I wear them myself. You will be a lot safer if you throw them away every month, but if you don’t … you are taking a risk, not a huge risk though, and your risk will be a lot less than the risk you take by using the type of contact lenses popular before. Why? Because the non-monthly lenses (like Hydron Z4, Hydron Z6, CIBA Soft STD, …) can not deliver enough oxygen to your eyes and their material and design was done 25 years ago. Air Optix is a new material, delivers a lot more oxygen to the eyes, and is one of the latest products in the world. The producer keeps redesigning it and soon a still better design will be released into the market.
Now what you should do?
First: thank your doctor for advising you to use AirOptix.
Second: try to change into a new pair of AirOptix as frequent as you can, and let your doctor know that you are OK with monthly changes of your lenses. In Europe they change it every month, in America … every week!!! In Persian Gulf countries? Every month!
In Iran? You decide my dear friend! If you and other contact lens wearers in Iran will vote for the right thing, the doctors will go with it too and the companies will go with it too. I have personally fighted with the companies in Iran, I have visited many many doctors in Iran on this matter personally. They can not make every contact lens user understand what I wrote for you. Not every contact lens user cares to read all this. Not every contact lens user cares to hear this from an optometrist, especially if every single other doctor prefers to keep quite and give you a lens with a “5-year guaranteed durability (????!!!!! @+++***@@##).
Third: Don’t blame anyone else my dear friend! Our country will not change into better if we will keep blaming others for everything. You did the best thing by seeking the truth, and you reached it. You take another good step, and change your contact lenses as frequent as you can. 3 months is good, a bit risky, 1 month is really good. One week is still better but you really don’t have to.
One more thing: its not just Air Optix which should be thrown away every month, its about alllllllllllllllllllllllllllll soft lenses. Rigid lenses (they call it Hard lenses in Iran) should be changed too: every six months maximum, even if they look normal!
Now you know all the truth. No matter what others will tell you, this is the truth and all of the truth.
Have a nice day, and ask again if any questions. Will be happy to be in touch.