Contact lenses are contact lenses, right? There’s not a big difference between them except the strength of the prescription. Isn’t that true? Actually, there are many different types of contact lenses, materials, and styles. Once upon a time, contact lenses were made of glass and very thick and uncomfortable to wear. However, contact lenses have dramatically improved over time in material, thickness, and styles. Let’s learn a little bit about the different types.
There are two main materials that are used in contact lenses and these are plastic (hard) and silicone hydrogels (soft). Plastic (hard) lenses are able to correct a variety of vision problems, more than soft lenses, are smaller, and last a long time. Silicone hydrogel (soft) lenses are more common for most people because they correct most common vision problems, are more comfortable, and stay in place easily. Your lense material will be determined based on your eye care needs, your prescription, if you have astigmatism, and how long you would like to keep your lenses for.
Short vs. Long Term Wear
For most contact lense users, silicone hydrogels are used and will usually last about two weeks to a month (depending on the recommendation of your ophthalmologist, erring on the side of sooner than later). The longer that contacts are worn, the more bacteria that they pick up and damage they can sustain. This is especially true when contact lenses and cases are not cared for properly. Some users opt for “dailies.” Dailies are replaced on a daily basis, and ensure that your contacts are always clean, ready to use, and give you clear and bright vision. On the other end of the spectrum, plastic, gas permeable lenses can be kept for a much longer time period. Your ophthalmologist will discuss with you what the best option for your situation is. If you wear contacts for long periods of time, it’s very important to visit your ophthalmologist frequently to make sure that your contacts are holding up and that you have no infections beginning.
Most average contacts in prescriptions with differing prescriptions in each eye, especially silicone hydrogels, will have one contact slightly tinted blue so that you always know which eye it’s supposed to go in. However, they don’t change the color of your eye. Some people wish to use prescription lenses to alter the color of their eyes. They can work with their doctor to find the right option that is safe and suitable for them. Never buy colored contacts online or from corner stores. These are not safe to put in your eyes and could cause infection or worse.
Interested in Contact Lenses?
If you’re interested in contact lenses, contact Dr. Clifford Myers office to schedule an appointment. First, you will be given a comprehensive medical eye exam to determine your overall eye health and your optical prescription. You can ask about the possibility of contact lenses, and discuss with Dr. Myers what he recommends for your eyes. Schedule an appointment today and get started.