General information about the use of contact lenses

Different Types of Contact Lenses

There are several types of contact lenses available in the market today.

1) Soft Contact Lenses

Contact lensesAs the name represents, these are made of soft and flexible plastic which allows the oxygen to come through the cornea allowing the eye to breathe. They are more comfortable than most other types as they are easy to wear. Soft lenses are also available in newer softer lens material which includes silicone-hydrogels. This allows greater oxygen to the eye while you wear your lenses.

2) Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP) Contact Lenses

As the name suggests rigid gas permeable contact lenses (RGPs) are a combination of both soft and hard lenses and usually preferred as they give a clearer and crisper vision. They are easier to handle and less likely to tear. They are more durable and resistant to deposit buildup. Moreover, they tend to have a longer life span and thus are typically less expensive. However, they take csome time to get used to and are not as comfortable initially as soft contacts. It may take a few weeks to get used to wearing RGPs, compared to soft contact lenses which the wearer adapts to instantly.

3) Extended Wear Contact Lenses

These are an improved variety of contact lenses and can be worn overnight or continuously from one to six nights or up to 30 days. Extended wear contact lenses are usually soft contact lenses and are made of flexible plastics that allow oxygen to pass through to the cornea. There are some types of rigid gas permeable lenses that are designed and approved for overnight wear. Depending on the tolerance for overnight wear, your eye care professional will suggest the type of lens you can wear. It’s important for the eyes to have a rest without wearing lenses for at least one night following each scheduled removal.

4) Disposable Contact Lenses

"Disposable," as defined by the FDA, means used once and discarded. For a truly daily wear disposable schedule, a brand new pair of lenses is used each day. Thus, most of the soft contact lens wearers are prescribed some type of frequent replacement schedule.
Some soft contact lenses although referred to as "disposable" by contact lens sellers actually mean that thee needs to be a frequent and planned replacement. With extended wear lenses, the lenses may be worn continuously for the prescribed wearing period which could range from 7 days to 30 days and then discarded. It is important to remember that when you remove your lenses, they have to be cleaned and disinfected before reinserting

Read more about Disposable Contacts and Toric Lenses