Do you want to wear contact lenses but not sure which one is right for you? It is easy to get bombarded with information about contact lenses when looking online.
This short post will make it easy for you. Take a look at the 4 main types of contact lenses listed below to decide which one is right for you that suits your lifestyle and needs.
Types of Contact Lenses
There are four types of contact lenses; these lenses are categorised under soft lenses or hard lenses. If you normally wear bifocal or varifocal glasses, you can wear soft or 'hard' lenses.
Soft lenses - Daily, monthly and continuous wear contact lenses are known as soft lenses. They have a soft structure and are developed from a hydrophilic material or silicone hydrogel.
Hard lenses - Traditional hard lenses are rarely used. Rigid gas permeable lenses (RGP) are less flexible than soft lenses but allow more oxygen to pass through than the traditional hard lenses.
Daily Disposable Lenses
These lenses are very convenient as there's no need to clean or store them in solution. With these lenses, you simply wear them then throw away at the end of the day.
Daily disposable lenses are the most expensive out of the four however there's no maintenance costs which compensates for the price. If your eyes are quite sensitive you may find that these lenses are ideal and most comfortable to wear.
Monthly Replacement Lenses
Monthly replacement lenses can be worn up to one month and must be removed at night to be cleaned and stored. These lenses cannot be worn overnight. Monthly lenses are the most common types of contact lens worn.
Monthly lenses are the most affordable type on the market and quite convenient in terms of replacement. Regular cleaning and care is required to reduce the risks of eye infections.
Continuous Wear Lenses
These lenses are the most convenient out of all four types. Continuous lenses can be worn day and night; you can sleep in them without having to worry about a thing. You can wear these lenses for up to one month without having to clean or remove them.
Sleeping in your contact lenses does increase your chances of picking up eye infections such as conjunctivitis. However, if your lifestyle, work or leisure commitment requires you to wear contact lenses constantly for a long time, these lenses may be the most appropriate for you.
Rigid Gas Permeable Lenses
These lenses offer you the best visual acuity out of all of the four types of contact lenses. As these lenses are less flexible than soft lenses, you will find that your eyes need to adapt to the lenses. Once your eyes have adapted, RGP lenses are very comfortable to wear.
RGP lenses are great for those who want to wear their contacts on a long-term basis i.e. up to one year without replacement. The main disadvantage to these lenses is that they need to be meticulously cleaned and maintained to prevent infections to the eye area.
Astigmatism And Contact Lenses
If you have astigmatism, you will need "Toric lenses". Toric lenses come in a wide range of lens materials, fittings, powers, and design so you can wear soft lenses or RGP lenses. Soft lenses in their basic form cannot correct astigmatism but can be custom-made.
RGP lenses in their basic form can correct low to medium levels of astigmatism. High astigmatism can only be corrected with custom-made RGP lenses. Toric soft and RGP lenses will need more care in fitting and cleaning.
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