A contact lens is a thin disk which floats on the surface of the eye, providing vision correction. With advances in optical technology, almost everyone now can wear contact lenses, regardless of the type or extent of their vision problems. This includes patients with astigmatism and those who need bifocal or multifocal lenses.
Our practice offers a comprehensive array of contact lenses to suit our patients' individual needs - from daily disposables or extended-wear soft contacts to rigid gas-permeable lenses. We can help you find out which contact lenses are best for you. There are two classifications of contact lenses - soft and rigid gas permeable lenses. All contact lenses require a prescription.
Soft Contact Lenses
Daily-wear soft contact lenses are by far the most popular type of contacts worn. Made of a flexible plastic polymer, daily-wear lenses are put in each morning and taken out each night. They are replaced according to an established schedule.
Extended-wear soft contact lenses can be worn all the time, including while you sleep. Depending on whether you have 7-day (standard) or 30-day lenses, you only need to take out and clean your contacts once a week to give the eyes a rest and reduce the risk of a corneal infection. Extended-wear lenses are made of soft silicone that retains moisture longer than daily-wear contacts, allows more oxygen to reach the eye, and prevents bacteria and protein buildup.
Although many patients prefer the convenience of 30-day contacts, be aware that they tend to be stiffer than 7-day lenses, scratch more easily and may be blurrier.
Disposable soft lenses are intended to be thrown out and replaced after you've worn them for a certain length of time. This makes them even easier to maintain than regular soft contacts. Many disposable lenses are designed for replacement each morning, every two weeks, or even every months. Daily-wear disposables are worn during waking hours only, while extended-wear disposables can be worn for longer periods.
Rigid, gas-permeable contacts offer several benefits over soft lenses. They:
- Can correct a wider range of vision problems, including a high degree of astigmatism;
- Provide sharper vision than most soft lenses;
- Allow more oxygen to pass through to the eye, reducing the risk of corneal irritation;
- Are more durable than soft lenses and don't need to be replaced as often, lasting as long as two or three years.
- Less likely to tear like soft contact lenses.
- Less prone to a buildup of deposit.
Because they are much harder than flexible contacts, gas-permeable lenses may take some getting used to when you first start wearing them. They are also more likely than soft lenses to slip off the center of your eye and require adjustment, making them an inconvenient choice for patients who play sports or participate in other demanding activities.
However, most patients soon grow accustomed to the feel of gas-permeable lenses and are satisfied with the improvement in vision they offer without the need for glasses.