Contact lenses are an ideal option for anyone requiring vision correction and not looking to undergo LASIK eye surgery or wear eyeglasses permanently. However, finding the right kind of lenses to suit your requirements can be an intimidating task, especially considering there are various products currently on the market. Here are the different types of contact lenses to help you decide on the best one for you.
Soft Contact Lenses
This type is quite popular among contact lens wearers for several reasons. Since they have been made using the latest in optical technology, they are highly breathable for long wear, flexible, and very comfortable. They are made using soft, flexible plastic materials that permit oxygen passage into the eyes. Their design adaptability makes them compatible for anyone looking to wear lenses. It is also hard to dislodge them from the eyes making them very good for active lifestyles.
Soft contact lenses come in various wearing patterns including:
– Extended wear
– Monthly disposable
– Two-weekly disposable (or weekly)
– Daily disposable
Another important feature of soft contact lenses is that of water content. If a pair of contact lens has high water content, then it allows more oxygen to permeate through its surface. This is beneficial for promoting the comfort of the lenses and maintaining optimum eye health. The disadvantage of contact lenses with high water content is that they can be more fragile and frequent handling can cause them to tear. On the other hand, silicone hydrogel lenses have a different oxygen permeation and water content relationship. Silicone hydrogel lenses will still transmit oxygen into the eyes at high levels despite the water percentage.
Rigid Gas Permeable (RPG)/Hard Contact Lenses
These lenses are typically made using durable plastic allowing efficient permeation of oxygen to the eyes. Since they are rigid, they tend to provide sharper vision improvements in comparison to soft lenses. RPG contact lenses can also help with a wider variety of eyesight problems. They are quite durable making them more cost-effective. Hard contact lenses are easier to dislodge compared to soft contact lenses and they need to be worn frequently before they can be comfortable. They are smaller compared to soft lenses and they have been made to move around on the eye meaning there is a higher chance that debris and dirt can get under the lens.
Single Vision and Multifocal Lenses
Single vision lenses have a single prescription across the whole lens and they are designed to improve one’s vision for a particular task. They are usually used for correcting problems with distance vision.
Multifocal lenses provide a modern solution to single vision contact lenses as they have varied prescriptions to help with a series of vision problems with distance and near vision. Multifocal contact lenses are also called progressive or varifocal lenses and they come in various types to improve near vision and distance vision. One common design for these lenses is the concentric lens whose center has the normal vision prescription and whose outer ring aids with near vision. They may be designed the other way around in some cases depending on how the eyes are used and one’s prescription. Even though multifocal lenses typically provide better visual sharpness for various distances, they are often more expensive due to the design. Some people might also find it hard to get used to multifocal lenses if they have used other types of contact lenses before.
If you want to find the right contact lens to suit your lifestyle and prescription, it is advisable to visit your optometrist first.