The Different Types of Contact Lenses

Contact lenses are a great choice for people who need vision correction but don’t want to wear eyeglasses all the time. All contacts require a valid prescription from an eye doctor. During your visit, talk to your ophthalmologist about the different types of contact lenses. Your doctor will determine which options are best based on your vision correction needs and eye shape. 

Soft Contact Lenses 

Soft lenses are made from hydrogel, a soft, flexible plastic that conforms to the surface of the eye. These lenses are thin and comfortable because they allow oxygen to pass through to the cornea. The best candidates for soft lenses are people with nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism.

Soft contact lenses are disposable, though how often you change them depends on the lens type. Some lenses are changed daily while others are changed every two weeks. Here is a breakdown of the main types of soft lenses: 

-Daily disposables. Daily lenses are worn once and then discarded. They are best for people who have sensitive eyes and are easily irritated by protein, calcium and lipid buildup. 

-Disposables. Most “disposable” lenses have a suggested wear time of two weeks. After 14 days, the lenses should be discarded. These lenses are most popular because they’re comfortable and affordable. 

-Extended wear. Extended wear lenses are designed for overnight wear or continuous wear. These lenses are only recommended for certain individuals, as they don’t give the eyes much time for rest. However, they can be a great option for people who work long shifts. 

Hard Contact Lenses 

Hard lenses are also known as rigid gas permeable contact lenses. Due to their sturdier material, hard lenses are less likely to rip or tear. They tend to last longer than soft contact lenses, though it depends on how well you take care of them. With good maintenance, hard lenses can last for 1 to 2 years. 

Another benefit to hard lenses is that they lead to crisp, clear vision because they are durable and less likely to have buildup. This is especially helpful for people with astigmatism. The drawback to hard lenses is that they are not as comfortable as soft lenses, and they take longer to get used to. 

Hybrid Contact Lenses 

Hybrid lenses are a combination of hard and soft lenses. They’re soft and comfortable but have the clarity that hard lenses do. As convenient as hybrid lenses are, only a small percentage of people wear them. This is probably because hybrid contact lenses cost more and are harder to fit than other options. 

Lenses have improved over the years, so even today’s “hard” lenses are comfortable and breathable. To find a lens type that is right for you, schedule an appointment with a Brooklyn eye doctor. Your doctor will choose a lens that offers excellent vision correction and fits the diameter and curvature of your eye.