Contact lenses are a great alternative to glasses for visual correction, especially for people who lead an active lifestyle! They provide a more natural look and greater flexibility in terms of movement, which is why they have become increasingly popular over the years.
However, there are many different types of contact lenses available on the market, each designed for specific needs and purposes. This is why we crafted this comprehensive guide to the various contact lenses available to help you choose the right one for you. But first, how do contact lenses work?
How Contact Lenses Work
The contact lens refracts the incoming light, adjusting the focal point of the light that enters the eye. This, in turn, corrects the vision to provide enhanced visual acuity. They also protect the eyes from dust, wind, and other environmental factors that may cause further irritation to people who suffer from allergies or dry eyes.
Contact lenses are designed to fit the unique contours of your eyes. They are made from materials that allow oxygen to pass through to the cornea, which helps keep the eyes healthy and comfortable. Some contact lenses are designed for daily wear and need to be removed at night, while others can be worn continuously for up to a month.
Now let’s get into some of the benefits of wearing contact lenses.
The 6 Benefits of Contact Lenses
- The most significant advantage of wearing contact lenses is their more natural visual experience than glasses.
- They provide better peripheral vision than glasses
- They don’t slide down your nose while performing physical activities.
- They require minimal to zero maintenance, ensuring they don’t detract from the quality of life.
- They come in a variety of colors, allowing you to change the color of your eyes to suit your mood or outfit.
- They can also be used to correct visual impairments that cannot be corrected with glasses, such as keratoconus.
Choosing the Right Contact Lenses for You
Choosing the right contact lenses for you depends on several factors, including the health of your eyes, your lifestyle, and your budget. Your optometrist can help you select a suitable type of contact lens that fits your specific needs.
The different types of contact lenses available can be categorized into three types: soft contact lenses, Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP) lenses, and hybrid lenses. Here is a bit more detail to select the correct lenses for you.
1. Soft Contact Lenses
Soft contact lenses are the most popular type of contact lenses available in the market. They are made from soft, flexible plastics that conform to the shape of the eye.
These lenses are designed for daily wear, meaning you have to replace them every two weeks to a month, depending on the instructions. Soft contact lenses come in several types, including:
1. Daily Disposable Lenses
Daily disposable lenses come in single-use packages, and you dispose of them after a day of use. These lenses do not require any care, such as cleaning or storage, as you replace them daily. They are a popular choice for people with allergies or those who travel frequently.
One of the benefits of daily disposable lenses is that they are hygienic. You don’t have to worry about cleaning them, which reduces the risk of eye infections. Additionally, they are convenient for people who have busy schedules and don’t have time for daily cleaning routines.
2. Extended Wear Lenses
Extended wear lenses are designed to be worn continuously for several days, including during sleeping. However, it is recommended to remove and clean them periodically to ensure eye health. They are perfect for people with busy lifestyles who do not want to worry about daily lens clean up routines.
It is important to note that extended wear lenses can increase the risk of eye infections, as they are worn for longer periods. Therefore, it is essential to follow the instructions carefully and clean them regularly to ensure eye health.
3. Toric Lenses for Astigmatism
Toric lenses are designed to correct astigmatism, a common eye condition that causes blurred vision. They are shaped differently from other contact lenses to adjust the light better and improve vision for people with astigmatism. They are available in daily wear and extended wear formats.
It is essential to get a proper eye exam and prescription from an optometrist before using toric lenses. Improper use of toric lenses can lead to discomfort and incorrect vision correction.
4. Multifocal Lenses for Presbyopia
Presbyopia is an age-related eye condition that affects the ability to focus on close objects. Multifocal lenses correct this problem by providing different levels of magnification in different parts of the lens, ensuring an all in one solution for visual correction for people who have difficulty with reading road signs or reading books.
It is important to note that it may take some time to adjust to multifocal lenses, as they require the eyes to adapt to different levels of magnification. It is recommended to consult with an optometrist to determine the best type of multifocal lenses for your specific needs.
2. Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP) Contact Lenses
Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP) contact lenses are a type of contact lens that is made from a harder and less flexible material than soft contact lenses. RGP lenses are designed to provide sharper vision and better durability, making them ideal for people with astigmatism or other vision-related problems that soft lenses do not correct.
RGP lenses are made from a highly oxygen-permeable material, which allows your eyes to breathe more easily. This makes them a healthier option for your eyes than traditional hard contact lenses.
The 4 Advantages of RGP Lenses
RGP lenses offer several advantages over other types of contact lenses.
- One of the primary advantages is better visual outcomes. RGP lenses provide sharper vision than soft lenses, which can be especially beneficial for people with higher prescriptions or astigmatism.
- RGP lenses also have a longer lifespan than soft lenses, making them a more cost-effective option over the long term.
- They are also more resistant to deposit accumulation, which reduces the chance of developing infections.
- Another advantage of RGP lenses is that they can be used to correct a wider range of vision problems than soft lenses. They are especially effective for people with irregularly shaped corneas, which can cause distortions in vision that cannot be corrected with soft lenses.
Fitting and Adjusting to RGP Lenses
Fitting RGP lenses requires a more precise process than fitting soft contact lenses. Your optometrist will take precise measurements of the shape of your cornea to ensure a perfect fit. This process may take a bit of time to get right, but it is essential to ensure that your lenses are comfortable and provide the best possible vision correction.
When you first start wearing RGP lenses, you may experience a bit of discomfort during the adaptation period. This is normal and should go away after a few days. Your optometrist will schedule frequent follow-ups to ensure that your lenses are fitting properly and to address any issues that may arise.
Caring for RGP Lenses
Caring for RGP lenses requires a bit of extra effort compared to caring for soft lenses. You will need to clean your lenses daily, store them in a specialized solution, and regularly disinfect them to reduce the risk of infection.
It is essential to follow your optometrist’s instructions for caring for your lenses. Failure to do so can lead to eye infections and other complications. With proper care, RGP lenses can provide excellent vision correction and last for several years.
3. Hybrid Contact Lenses
Hybrid contact lenses are a revolutionary product in the world of eye care. These lenses are a combination of soft and RGP lenses, which provide the comfort of soft lenses and the sharp vision of RGP lenses.
They are designed to correct vision-related issues and are a more suitable alternative for those who may not adjust to RGP lenses. The advanced materials and technologies used in their construction ensure optimal fit, comfort, and vision correction.
Hybrid lenses are a great option for people who are looking for a comfortable and effective way to correct their vision. They offer the best of both worlds, combining the qualities of RGP lenses, including better vision sharpness, with soft lenses, including long wear periods, clear vision, and minimal discomfort. They are perfect for people who lead an active lifestyle and require freedom of movement.
The 5 Benefits of Hybrid Lenses
Hybrid lenses offer several benefits that make them a popular choice among people who require vision correction. These benefits include:
- Sharper vision: Hybrid lenses provide sharper vision than traditional soft lenses.
- Comfort: The soft skirt of hybrid lenses provides excellent comfort, making them more suitable for those who may not adjust to RGP lenses.
- Long wear periods: Hybrid lenses can be worn for longer periods than traditional RGP lenses.
- Minimal discomfort: The soft skirt of hybrid lenses minimizes discomfort, making them more comfortable to wear for extended periods.
- Freedom of movement: Hybrid lenses are perfect for sports and other physical activities that require freedom of movement.
Fitting and Adjusting to Hybrid Lenses
Hybrid lenses require a precise fitting process, similar to RGP contacts, and may take a bit longer to adjust to than soft lenses. Your optometrist measures the curvature of your eye and prescriptions to ensure a perfect fit.
The fitting process may take a bit longer than traditional soft lenses, but the benefits of hybrid lenses make it worth the extra time and effort.
Tips for Caring for Hybrid Lenses
Proper care is essential to maintain the quality and longevity of your hybrid lenses. Hybrid lenses require:
- Daily cleaning
- Storage in a specialized solution
- And regular disinfecting, similar to RGP lenses.
Proper cleaning and care help limit the risk of infection and damage to the lenses. Your optometrist will provide you with detailed instructions on how to care for your hybrid lenses to ensure they last as long as possible.
If you are considering hybrid lenses, talk to your optometrist to determine if they are the right choice for you.
Choosing the right type of contact lenses depends on several factors like the health of your eyes, the lifestyle you lead, and your budget. Soft, RGP, and hybrid lenses offer various advantages and challenges, but your optometrist can help you select a suitable type of contact lens that fits your specific needs.
These lenses provide a more natural and enhanced visual experience than glasses, and with proper care and attention, they can be an optimal choice for you.