Experts estimate that around 45 million Americans wear contact lenses.
Are you thinking of making the switch from glasses to contacts? Or maybe you’re already a contact lens wearer but you’re curious about the latest and greatest options.
Either way, we’re here to shed some light on the topic. Keep reading to learn more about the different types of contact lenses available today.
5 Types of Contact Lenses
When you go in for your contact lens exams, you’ll have the chance to discuss the different types of contact lenses with your optometrist. In the meantime, here’s a quick overview of the most popular options.
- Soft Lenses
Soft lenses are made of hydrogels. These are plastics with a gel-like texture that makes them very comfortable for the wearer. Soft lenses are very pliable and thin, conforming easily to the surface of your eyes.
- Silicone Hydrogel Lenses
These are the next generation of soft lenses and have become the most popular types of contact lenses in the US. They’re more porous than the standard soft lenses, allowing more oxygen to reach the cornea and other parts of the eye.
- Gas Permeable (GP) Lenses
GP or RPG lenses are harder than hydrogel lenses and fit closer to the eye. Because they produce sharper vision, they’re ideal for people with astigmatism. There’s usually a longer adjustment phase for new wearers than softer lenses, but once your eyes are used to them, most people can wear them comfortably.
- Hybrid Contact Lenses
Hybrid lenses combine the comfort and breathability of soft lenses with the sharper vision of GP lenses. The central zone of the lens is more rigid, while the outer edge is made of softer silicone. As you might expect, these types of contacts are more expensive (and more difficult to fit) than other options.
- PPMA Lenses
PPMA lenses, or “hard contacts,” were the original contact lenses. They produce excellent vision but do not allow oxygen to pass through to the eye, making them difficult to adapt to. Although they may still be suitable for certain vision problems, they’ve mostly been phased out and replaced with newer technologies.
Disposable, Daily Wear, or Extended Wear?
Aside from the material your contacts are made of, you also need to consider the length of time you’ll wear them. The four main options are:
- Disposable (single use) contacts, worn once and then discarded
- Daily use contacts, which you’ll remove and clean each night before sleep
- Extended wear contacts, which you can leave in for several days or even weeks without removing
- Continuous wear contact, which you can wear for a maximum of 30 days without removing
There are pros and cons to each type of lens, and not all types of lenses are appropriate for all wearers. Talk to your doctor to find out which types of lenses are most suitable for your medical needs and lifestyle.
Different Types of Contact Lenses: Which Will You Choose?
As you can see, there are many different types of contact lenses for different needs and lifestyles. Now that you have a basic knowledge of your options, talk with your eye doctor to see which types of contact lenses are best for you!
Did you enjoy reading this post? Keep browsing our site for more great tips and advice!