Which Contact Lens is Right for You?
First, your contacts must address the problem that is prompting you to wear lenses in the first place. Your contact lenses must provide good vision by correcting your myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism, presbyopia or some combination of those eye problems.
Second, the lens must fit your eye. To do that, lenses come in tens of thousands of combinations of diameter and curvature and materials. Of course, not every lens brand comes in every eye “size”.
Your Eye Care Practitioner is skilled in evaluating your eye’s physiology, and your eyesight, to determine which lens best satisfies your needs and your lifestyles.
Third, you may have another medical need that drives the choice of lens. For example, your Eye Care Practitioner might pick a particular lens if your eyes tend to be dry.
Types of Contact Lenses
The many types of contact lenses currently available can be grouped in various ways according to:
What they are made of
How long you wear them with and without removal
How often you dispose of them: daily, bi-weekly, monthly or quarterly
The design of lens correction: Toric, Bifocal, Trifocal, Kerataconus, Dry Eyes, Corneal Refractive Therapy
Soft Contact Lenses
These lenses are a bit larger in size than your iris (the colored part of your eye). They are made from gel-like, water-containing plastics called soft polymers that allow excellent oxygen exchange to the cornea, as well as comfort for the patient. Little or no build-up of wearing time required. Available as Daily Wear, Extended Wear, Toric (astigmatism), Bifocal, Planned Replacement and Disposable Lenses.
(6 to 12 month life)
PMMA (Hard) Contact Lenses
These lenses are rarely used and made from rigid plastic material. However, they offer easy handling and are very durable. Require build up of wearing time. Available as Daily Wear lens for spherical, toric, and bifocal prescriptions.
RGP Contact Lenses
(Rigid Glass Permeable)
Also known as “Oxygen Permeable” lenses, made from semi-rigid silicon compound materials. These lenses are especially good for presbyopia and high astigmatism. They measure about eight millimeters in diameter, which is smaller than your iris. Offers easy handling, good oxygen permeability and are very durable. Requires building up of wearing time. Available as Daily Wear lens for spherical, toric, and bifocal prescriptions.
Toric (astigmitism) Contact Lenses
Lenses to correct mild to moderate amounts of astigmitism. Available in Soft, Disposable, Planned Replacement, RGP and Hard lens design. (Some trials available)
Disposable Contact Lenses
This 1 to 2 week soft lens is available for daily or extended wear. Available as spherical, toric, and bifocal prescriptions. (Trials available)
Planned Replacement Contact Lenses
This 1 to 3 month soft lens is available as daily or extended wear. Available as spherical, toric and bifocal prescriptions. (Trials available)
Cosmetic Tinted Contact Lenses
Designed to enhance or change eye color.
From the introduction of soft lenses in 1971 until relatively recently, most lens brands have been made from “hydrogel” plastics. Recently, new silicone hydrogel contact lenses have been introduced. They have become the contact lenses of choice for many eye care practitioners, because they allow more oxygen to pass through the lens to the eye, and they are less prone to dehydration.