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Contact lenses constructed of silicone hydrogel are considered to be much more gas permeable than those constructed of plastics. This is important because oxygen is essential for corneal health. Traditional plastic contact lenses relied on the water present in the plastic to transmit oxygen to the cornea. However, silicone is oxygen permeable meaning the cornea receives oxygen through the water as well as the silicone. As a result, these contact lenses can be worn for extended periods of time because the cornea receives so much oxygen.