Types of Contact Lenses and their advantages & Disadvantages
What Are The Types Of Contact Lenses?
Picking the right contact lenses will ultimately depend on your lifestyle, budget and prescription whilst also considering the expert advice of your local opticians. However, if you were curious as to the types of contact lenses and their differences, then you’re in the right place, although we no longer sell lenses we can offer some advice. We’ve spoken to our opticians and created a guide on all the different types of contact lenses, take a read through!
Soft Contact Lenses
Generally, there are two types of contact lenses – soft lenses and hard lenses. Soft lenses are the most common amongst contact lens wearers. They are comfortable and for a lot of people feel much like just a drop of water on the eye. They’re also a great choice for sports as they tend to cause less friction on the eye than hard lenses and they have even been shown to be effective for those who suffer from allergies such as hay fever in the Summer period. Soft lenses can be broken down even further though as your lifestyle will impact the pattern in which you wear your lenses. Let’s go through the types of soft contact lenses so we can find what’s right for you.
Daily disposables, otherwise known as dailies, are made to be worn for just one day and then disposed of – makes sense – and because of this don’t really require any additional eye care products to go with.
However, some users do tend to equip themselves with eye drops in case their eyes begin to dry.
Dailies are perfect for those who may be too busy or not too keen on the idea of having to clean and maintain their lenses, making these an ‘on-the-go’ type of lens.
They’re also great for the occasional contact lens wearer such as sports enthusiasts. Allergy sufferers benefit greatly from this type of contact lens too as there is less time for allergens to build upon the surface.
Two Weekly Disposables
Much like dailies, two weekly disposables are made to be worn then thrown away however, these are worn daily for a period of two weeks before being disposed of.
Due to the fact these are worn daily for two weeks, it will mean proper maintenance including daily cleaning and storage overnight. In order to make sure they are kept clean, we recommend suitable contact lens solutions.
Again, your optician will always know the best solution but nowadays most multi-purpose solutions are fit for disposable lenses.
Two weekly disposable offer good value for money as you are paying for fewer lenses whilst also being very beneficial for dry eye sufferers.
Monthly disposable contact lenses are similar to two weekly disposables in that they are designed to be worn daily, cleaned and correctly stored overnight. This type of contact lens is to be used for a month before being changed for a new pair.
As you can imagine, monthly lenses require regular maintenance and need looking after if you are to maximise their full use. Although they do need to be maintained properly, they are very cost-efficient as you are only paying for two lenses every month.
Monthlies are a great option for regular contact lens wearers and those who are cost-conscious, just be sure to regularly clean and store them!
Your optician may decide you're well suited for extended wear contact lenses.
Extended wear contact lenses are usually thinner than other disposable lenses and are made of silicone hydrogel, allowing this type of soft lens to ‘breathe’ better than daily wear lenses.
This is important for extended wear lenses as they are designed to be worn continuously over an extended period of time. This type of contact lens can even be worn overnight, meaning much lower maintenance than monthly or two weekly lenses.
Our opticians do recommend, however, cleaning your extended wear lenses at least once per week.
Hard Contact Lenses
Hard contact lenses are often referred to as rigid, gas permeable lenses (RGP for short) and are not made of water such as soft contact lenses.
Do not be put off by this fact though, despite being made up of plastics and other materials they still maintain good comfort over the eye.
RGP lenses may be the best choice for those with enough astigmatism as they are more rigid than their soft lens counterparts.
RBP lenses also offer a great option for people that suffer from irregularity in the shape of their eye as well as contact lens wearers who find soft lenses do not provide sharp enough vision.
Have a chat with your local optician to find out what type of contact lens best suits your lifestyle, prescription and budget. Regular appointments with your eye doctor are essential in maintaining healthy vision.