Contact lenses are convenient and easy to wear, but they can be challenging to use if you do not buy the right ones. There are several types of contact lenses available in optical stores today, and that may feel overwhelming.
Understanding the best uses and drawbacks of every type of contact lens can make things easier for you.
Soft contact lenses are the most common type of contact lenses. They can correct eyesight problems such as myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), presbyopia (age-related farsightedness), and astigmatism (blurred vision). Soft contact lenses are a blend of soft plastics and water. The water allows oxygen to enter your eyes.
Soft contact lenses are easy to adjust to and comfortable to wear. They feel easy when you first place them in your eyes.
Also, many soft contact lenses are disposable. That means you can discard them after using them for a brief period—daily, after two weeks, or monthly. Wearing new contacts means fewer chances of infection, reduced cleaning, and more ease.
Additionally, many soft contact lenses offer sun protection.
Compared to other contact lenses, soft contact lenses can soak up bacteria, dust and smoke particles, soap, and lotions more easily. These can irritate your eyes or cause an eye infection. Soft contact lenses are also more delicate and can break, tear, or rip easily.
RGP contact lenses are firmer than soft contact lenses. They are made from silicone plastics that allow oxygen to pass through your eyes.
RGP contact lenses offer a sharper vision for most contact lens wearers than soft contact lenses. RGP contacts can correct vision for patients with astigmatism, presbyopia, and keratoconus (irregularly-shaped cornea).
RGP lenses are also suitable for people who require contact lenses after refractive eye surgery. Additionally, the lenses are advantageous in orthokeratology (ortho-k) treatments. In ortho-k, contacts are worn at night to restructure the cornea during sleep. Moreover, RGP contact lenses are durable and easy to maintain.
It may take a while to get used to RGP contact lenses, and they may feel uncomfortable. So you must wear them daily to get comfortable and adjusted to them.
Depending on what your eyes need, you may consider specialty contact lenses. They include:
Hybrid contact lenses - They comprise a rigid gas permeable center and a softer outer edge. These two designs give you the sharp vision of RGP lenses and the ease of a soft lens
Bifocal contact lenses - Bifocal contacts are suitable for patients who need correction to see near and far
Multifocal contact lenses - Multifocal contacts enable people to see clearly at all distances. That is, near, far, and in between
Scleral contact lenses - These are large RGP lenses. They go over the cornea and cover most of your eyeball. Scleral contacts correct eyesight problems caused by irregular cornea or keratoconus
Colored contact lenses - Contact lenses can come in various colors for beauty or treatment purposes. For instance, colored contacts can enhance or change the color of your eyes. Also, they can improve color perception for colorblind patients
Ultimately, your eye doctor will need to perform a detailed eye exam and contact lens fitting. That will help you get the right contact lenses.
For more on what type of contact lens is right for you, visit Manchester Eyecare at our office in North Manchester, Indiana. You can call (260) 306-3937 to book an appointment today.