Contact Lenses: Choosing the Right Pair

Contact Lenses: Choosing the Right Pair

There’s more to picking out contact lenses than getting the right prescription.

There’s more to picking out contact lenses than getting the right prescription.
If you wear contact lenses, you know that there are different types for you to choose from. From lenses you throw away every day to hard lenses (yes, they still exist!), the options become more varied every day. In this article, we’ll give you a quick run down of the types of lenses you can choose from, and why a certain type might be best for your eyesight and lifestyle. We’ll start with the different kinds of materials that your lenses could be made from:

Soft Lenses
Soft lenses are made from hydrogels, which are water-containing plastics. They are very thin and designed to conform to the front of the eye.

Silicone Hydrogel Lenses
Silicone hydrogel lenses are a kind of soft lens that is more porous than regular soft lenses, allowing more oxygen in. They are currently the most prescribed type of lens.

PMMA Lenses
PMMA lenses are made from a rigid plastic material called polymethyl methacrylate, hence the name PMMA. They are more commonly known as “hard contacts” and are rarely prescribed today.

Gas Permeable Lenses
Gas permeable lenses are a modern alternative to PMMA lenses because they allow oxygen to reach the eye. They are initially harder to adapt to than soft lenses, but often provide sharper vision and can be a good option to treat astigmatism.

Scleral Lenses
Scleral contact lenses are custom large diameter lenses made of similar materials to modern rigid gas permeable lenses. As implied by the name, this contact lens rests on the sclera (white portion) of the eye rather than the cornea. Like rigid lenses, they can give sharper vision but can be harder to initially adapt to. They are often used in the treatment of keratoconus, dry eye, other corneal diseases, and more.

Hybrid Lenses
Hybrid lenses offer the comfort of silicone hydrogel lenses with the clear optics of the gas permeable lens. They have a hard center zone and a softer outer ring.
In addition to different materials, lenses are also designed to be worn for different durations of
time. Here are some of the terms you’ll see and what they mean:

Daily Wear
Daily wear lenses must be removed at the end of each day. They are not made to be worn overnight or slept in.

Extended Wear
Extended wear lenses are designed to wear overnight, ranging from one to six nights, up to 30 days. Your eyes may not tolerate extended wear lenses and they may put you at an increased risk for infection compared to other lens options, so talk to your doctor before trying these out.

Daily Disposable Lenses
Daily disposable lenses are single-use lenses that are removed and thrown away at the end of each day. They are different from “daily wear,” as those are meant to be worn in the daytime only, as opposed to daily disposables, which are thrown away at the end of each day.

Disposable Lenses
Disposable lenses are also designed to be thrown away, but not necessarily at the end of each day—they can last from one week to one month, depending on the type.

Traditional Lenses
There are also contact lenses designed to last six months to a year. These types of lenses are not prescribed as often as disposable lenses.

Contact lenses are also available for cosmetic purposes and can change the color of your iris. Though there are many colors and even patterns to choose from these days, they aren’t available in all prescriptions and aren’t usually designed for long-term wear.
If you are having trouble deciding what kind of contacts are right for you, make an appointment with your eye doctor to discuss which ones work best for your prescription and lifestyle. To schedule an appointment with Sterling Vision, call 866-439-3588 or schedule online.