Contact lenses have come a long way since their introduction to the industry. Nowadays, you can find a variety of options and types and can even order contacts without prescription. However, this further makes it very important for you to understand the different types available and each of their uses and benefits.
Soft Contact Lens:
The most commonly bought contact lenses, these can be used to correct a number of vision complications, such as:
- Farsightedness (Hyperopia)
- Nearsightedness (Myopia)
- Age-related vision loss (Presbyopia)
- Blurred vision (Astigmatism)
Compared to the other variants, soft contact lenses are a lot more comfortable and easier to adapt to. There are mainly two kinds of soft contact lenses, namely:
Lenses for Daily Wear:
As the name suggests, these are disposable lenses that have to be cleaned and disinfected every night after use. People wearing such lenses also need to be careful about eye makeup safety. You can choose the one-day wear lenses, which are mainly made for a single day’s use and have to be disposed of by night. Then there are also two-week and monthly disposable lenses, which work in a similar fashion.
Overnight Wear Lenses:
More commonly known as extended wear lenses, you can wear these soft contacts for more than 30 days at a stretch before you dispose them of. You do not have to take them off at all, not even while you sleep. Nevertheless, the elongated wear can cause other issues like debris buildup under the lens, eye infection and sometimes even corneal problems.
Rigid Gas Permeable Contact Lens:
The other most popular kind of contact lenses, these are suitable for most eyesight problems. Known to provide a crisper and clear vision, it is best for people who have experienced dry eyes after using soft contact lenses.
More sturdy than soft contact lenses, rigid gas permeable lenses are made with a more breathable material. This further allows oxygen to reach the cornea. Even though some of such lenses can be worn for more than a week or a month, it is best to disinfect and clean them every night.
If you are new to this kind of lens, it might take a few days or weeks for your eyesight to adjust. However, once it has, these lenses can be used for more than two years if maintained.
Specialized Contact Lenses:
For people with very specific eye problems, some contact lenses are specially designed to help. Some of the most common ones include:
- Hybrid Contact Lens: These lenses are essentially made of a soft outer ring with a rigid gas permeable material in the center. They are essentially a lot more comfortable to wear than the regular gas permeable lens. Along with that, they can also help with a number of eyesight problems such as astigmatism, farsightedness, age-related vision loss, nearsightedness and keratoconus.
- Multifocal Contact Lens: Another very popular kind, these lenses can be made up of several materials. It is mainly used to correct farsightedness, presbyopia and nearsightedness.
- Scleral Contact Lens: This is another type of rigid gas permeable lens and is bigger in size than most. Once worn, it extends to the outer white layer, medically known as the sclera, of the eyeball, hence the name. It helps correct vision for people with a distorted or irregular cornea.
These are some of the types of contact lenses you should know about.
That said, it is essential to remember that even with proper care and use, dry eyes and itchiness can be a problem for lens wearers. If that is the case, make sure to use lubricating eye drops. However, if the problem persists, you should immediately remove the lenses and visit your closest eye doctor.