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What Is The Right Type of Contact Lens For You?

Updated on March 20, 2011

An Overview of Contact Lenses

If you are currently wearing glasses and considering switching to contacts you may be wondering what is the right type of contact lenses for you. Switching to contact lenses not only increases ones self-esteem, the are also more convenient than glasses, prevent injuries, and increase your peripheral vision. In addition, recent advances contact lenses make them more convenient and healthy than ever before.

Contact lenses are divided into two major types, soft and rigid. Soft contact lense are made from water-containing plastics while rigid lenses are made from stiffer oxygen-permeable plastics. These lenses are further divided by their replacement schedule and by whether they are safe to wear while sleeping.

Soft Contact Lenses

Soft contact lenses contain some amount of water and made with a soft polymer plastic. The water is to allow oxygen to safely pass through in order to increase the wearers comfort level. These lenses are much more comfortable than rigid lenses and also may provide some UV protection.

Soft contacts are the most popular but they are not without drawbacks. By allowing air through they also absorb irritants from the air and from your hands. They are also much more fragile than rigid lenses making them more prone to tearing and breaking.

Rigid Contact Lenses

Gas permeable rigid contact lenses, sometimes called hard contact lenses, are much more durable than soft contact lenses. Older ones allowed very little circulation to the cornea but  modern silicone polymers have helped to alleviate this problem.  These lenses hold the their shape better and may offer clearer vision then soft ones can for certain conditions. Care is much easier but they can be more difficult for some people to adjust to.

Hard contact lenses are not meant to be disposable so proper care, following the guidelines of your optometrist, is paramount. Routine check-ups are recommend to insure the health of your eyes.

Contact Lenses Wear Schedules

Depending on your budget, prescription, and lifestyle, there is a wide array of wear intervals available to you. Daily wear lenses must be removed and cleaned each night. These are not meant to be slept in and infection and injury may occur if not used properly. Extended war lenses can be worn while you sleep. You can even buy continuous wear lenses which may be worn non-stop until you throw them out.

Another factor in the types of contact lenses, besides when you wear them, is how long you wear them before needing a new pair. Some are daily wears which are thrown out at the end of every day. Other intervals include weekly, b-weekly, monthly, and quarterly. Non-disposable contact lenses are generally reserved for very difficult prescriptions and are meant to last for a whole year.

Conditions Contacts Can Fix

There are a wide array of contacts designed to fix almost any eye or vision problem, There are lenses for nearsighted-people, far-sighted people, people with astigmatism, and even people who need bifocals. Consult with your local optometrist and he can find the right lens to correct your condition. 

Designer Contact Lenses

Some people get contact lenses without even needing a prescription to change the appearance of their eyes. Designer contact lenses are available with and without a prescription that can change your eye color and even add special effects. Some come with extra UV protection much like sunglasses to protect your eyes from harsh sunlight.

Expert Care When Choosing Your Contact Lenses

Ultimately, the best advice you can receive when shopping for contact lenses is going to come from your optometrist. Before making any eye care purchase consult with them first. You only get one pair of eyes so taking care of them is paramount to a fulfilling life.


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      7 years ago

      Just found your article, just as Toknowinfo says interesting & well explained! I have just converted to wearing contact lenses and I couldn't agree more with the advice you provide. So many blogs & websites try to justify wearing contacts for aesthetic/ vanity reasons, this shouldn't determine your choice, I wear contact lenses from Vision Express, I found there website really useful before ordering my first set of lenses, check it out.

    • toknowinfo profile image


      7 years ago

      Interesting and well explained hub about contact lenses. Thanks for sharing. Rated up and useful.


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