The Basics of Contact Lenses – Types, Designs and More

The Basics of Contact Lenses – Types, Designs and More

Jan 01, 2021

Eyecare is an essential aspect of our lives. Why so? Unlike animals such as dogs that have a heightened sense of smell in advantage, human beings rely on eyesight as the dominant sense.

There are various options we can use to correct our vision in case of defective conditions. Eye drops are among the cheapest options, but they won’t even try to correct some issues like myopia.

Other suggested methods are contact lenses and eyeglasses. All of these tend to have a varying degree of success. The eye doctor in Castle Rock will determine the best option for you.

Are you unsure whether contact lenses are a good option for you? In this article, we detail the main types of contact lenses in terms of materials and wearing duration, and even the most recent contact lens formats.

Types of Contact Lenses According to:

Material Used

Before getting a set of contact lenses in Castle Rock, CO, it’s good first to consider the type of material that best suits your needs. Regarding the type of material used, contact lenses at Founders Eyecare are of five types, namely:

  • Soft Lenses – They are made of hydrogels, which are water-containing gel-like plastics. They are the thinnest and perfectly align with the front surface of the eye. Hydrogel lenses were introduced in the 1970s and are more popular than other types because they are almost immediately available when needed.
  • Silicone Hydrogel Lenses – They are like soft lenses but more advanced because they are more porous than regular hydrogel lenses. There’s more oxygen flow into the cornea when you wear Silicone Hydrogen Lens. They were first introduced in 2002 and have become the most popular types of lenses in the United States.
  • Gas Permeable Lenses – Also called GP/RGP, and unlike soft lenses, they are rigid and have a look and feel of PMMA lenses. RGP lenses are also porous and allow oxygen flow into the eye. They also fit closer to the eye,making them more comfortablethan PMMAs and conventional hard lens types. They were introduced in 1978 and came as a replacement to non-porous PMMA contacts.
  • Hybrid Contact Lenses – Hybrid contacts are designed as a more comfortable option that rivals hydrogel lenses. They come with a rigid center that’s gas-permeable which s surrounded by a hydrogel or silicone hydrogel skirt. Regardless of the premium features, hybrid lenses are not that popular in the US. It may be because they are more challenging to fit and more costly to replace compared to soft contacts and silicone hydrogel lenses.
  • PMMA Lenses – Their material is a transparent rigid plastic called polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA). It’s the same material used as a substitute for glass in shatterproof windows. These lenses present excellent optics but do not allow oxygen flow into the eyes. For this non-porous feature, they are quite a gamble to adapt to. PMMAs are an old-fashioned hard-contacts option. They are rarely prescribed today since they get replaced by GP contact lenses.

Wearing Time

Contact lenses can also be categorized according to the wearing time involved. Initially, everyone who used contact lenses had to remove them at night to clean them. Advancement in the optical field brought about the ‘extended wear’ contact lenses. These enable wearers to maintain their contact lenses even at night.

There are two types of contact lenses, depending on wearing time, namely:

  • Daily Wear – They have to be removed nightly
  • Extended Wear – Wearers can go for up to seven days without removing them, even at night.

‘Continuous wear’ is a term used to describe specificcontact lenses that can be worn for up to 30 consecutive days. These are lenses fromparticular brands and must be approved by the FDA.

What About Colored Contact Lenses?

You can opt to wear colored contacts, sometimes referred to as costume lenses. They are meant to give your eyes a unique color of choice. Some even alter the shape of pupils for a cartoon-like effect.

Regardless of colored eye contacts being medical devices, it’s illegal to sell them without a prescription. This is because contact lenses can easily cut, scratch, and even infect your eyes. At their worst, costume contacts can distort your vision leading to blindness.

So, how do you acquire a decorative contact lens?

It would help if you started by visiting your eye doctor in Castle Rock. You will get an exam and a prescription on if contacts are a fit option. After prescription, ensure you get your contact lenses from an FDA-approved retailer.

Get your lenses only from dealers who demand a prescription. Avoid buying contact lenses from cosmetics and beauty shops.

After buying, you will need to follow your eye doctor’s directions on how to clean them, disinfect, store, and put on your colored contact lenses. Always wash your hands before wearing your lenses and avoid cleaning them using tap water.

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