Contact lenses have come a long way lately, and offer some exciting options for the consumer. You can bat a pair of baby blues one day, then flash golden tiger eyes the next. You can toss your disposable lenses in the trash each night or you can leave in your extended wear lenses for an entire month.
For people with vision problems, contact lenses remain an effective, almost invisible tool. The thin plastic lenses are fitted over the cornea of the eye to correct vision problems such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism. You can wear contact lenses even if you have presbyopia and need bifocals.
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You have so many options, how do you choose? Check out your choices of contact lenses here. Then talk with your eye doctor about the contact lens that may work best for you.
Contact lenses are divided into two main categories: soft and rigid gas permeable.
Daily Wear Soft Contact Lenses
Soft contact lenses are made of a soft polymer-plastic material combined with a percentage of water. Water allows oxygen to pass through the contact lens material and increases comfort. Many soft contact lenses also provide UV protection. Soft contact lenses are more comfortable than rigid gas permeable contact lenses when first inserted into the eye.
Many soft contact lenses are disposable and can be thrown away after a short period of use. Being able to have a fresh pair of soft contact lenses means less chance of infection, less cleaning, and more comfort, especially for people whose eyes naturally produce more protein which leaves deposits on the contact lenses. Other soft contact lenses are worn on a yearly basis and are not disposable.
While most people choose soft contact lenses because of their benefits, there are also some disadvantages. Soft contact lenses easily absorb pollutants like lotion or soap from your hands, which can irritate your eyes. Soft contact lenses are also more fragile than hard contact lenses and can rip or tear easily.
The most recent types of soft contact lenses to hit the market include:
- Daily Disposables. These soft contact lenses are only worn for one day and then thrown away. The benefits include not having to clean your contact lenses on a regular basis, convenient replacement schedule, and reduction of dry eye and irritation related to contact solutions. If you are an allergy sufferer, these are the contact lenses for you.
- Silicone Extended Wear Disposables. These soft contact lenses are made with a new silicone hydrogel material that can be worn for up to 30 nights and days. The new material also prevents deposit build up and reduces dry eye irritation.
Colored Soft Contact Lenses
They’re hip and they’re fun, but colored contact lenses can also be quite practical. There are four types of colored contact lenses, each offering a slightly different benefit:
- Visibility tint. These colored contact lenses are lightly tinted so you can find your lens if you drop it. Visibility tints don’t affect the color of your eyes.
- Enhancement tint. These colored contact lenses have a translucent tint that’s meant to enhance your natural eye color. Enhancement tints are slightly darker than a visibility tint.
- Color tint. Darker, opaque tints that change the color of your eyes. Color tints come in a wide array of specialty colors, including amethyst, violet, and green.
- Light-filtering tint. These colored contact lenses are designed for athletes and sports fans. They enhance certain colors and mute other colors. For instance, contact lenses for tennis players would enhance optic yellow, the color of tennis balls.
Remember, colored contact lenses are a medical device just like clear contact lenses. Never share colored contacts lenses with anyone. Clean and care for them just as you would any prescription contact lens.
Republished from WebMD/Eye Health