Types of Contact Lenses
Types of Contact Lenses
If you're thinking of switching from glasses to contact lenses, there are several different formats and types available, depending on your needs. Whether you have astigmatism, presbyopia, or you're just looking for a new way to get convenient vision correction, understanding the variety of contacts available will make it easier to know which option is best for you. Here are the different types of contact lenses based on their material content and more.
Soft or Hard Contact Lenses
Most contact lenses are either considered hard or soft, although there are some hybrid versions available, too which feature a hard center lens and a soft outer border. Soft contact lenses are made of a pliable, flexible plastic that allows oxygen to reach your cornea. Overall, soft contacts are more comfortable to wear than rigid or hard lenses. They also do a better job of keeping your eyes moisturized since they have a high percentage of water content and the material allows the oxygen to pass through them.
Hard or rigid lenses are also often referred to as rigid gas permeable lenses. These contacts are more durable than soft lenses and tend to resist buildup better which makes them easier to keep clean. RGP lenses also provide you with crisper, clearer vision than their soft counterparts. They're also a bit less expensive than soft lenses since they tend to last a lot longer and they're less likely to tear. On the other hand, rigid contact lenses aren't as comfortable as soft lenses and can take a bit longer to get used to.
Extended-Wear & Disposable Contact Lenses
If you want contacts that can be worn overnight or for a long period of time, extended-wear is the best choice., These lenses are typically soft and flexible, which helps oxygen reach your cornea, even as you sleep. Some rigid permeable gas lenses can also be worn overnight, but it depends on the lens type and what your eye doctor deems best for you. Whether your extended wear lenses are hard or soft, you should remove them and sleep at least one night before each time you remove and replace them. This will allow your eyes to breathe and "recalibrate" before you insert a new pair.
Daily disposable contacts are extremely convenient and easy to wear since you don't need to worry about cleaning them. These lenses can be worn daily and then discarded, or they may be worn for a week up to a full month at a time, depending on the type you're prescribed. It's important to know exactly how long you can wear your disposable lenses safely before you need to throw them out. If you wear them longer than the recommended time, you could end up with dry and irritated eyes or a possible infection. Talk to your eye doctor about the different types of contact lenses available to you so that you can find the right option for your lifestyle and your vision correction needs.