Contact lenses come in more varieties than they used to and are able to correct a wider range of vision problems. Most contact lens wearers can choose among several different types of lenses. The following is a brief description of the most common types of contacts available today.
Rigid Gas-Permeable Lenses
These lenses are made of a firm but flexible plastic. “Gas permeable” means that oxygen can pass through the lens, allowing the eye to breathe. Some advantages of this type of lens include the high degree of vision correction it provides, comfort (for most), and durability. These lenses do need to be worn regularly so that the eye remains adapted to the shape of the lens.
Soft lenses are very comfortable and easy for most people to get used to. They are easy to maintain, and some soft lenses don’t have to be cleaned. They do have to be replaced on a regular basis, though, and they are not appropriate for all vision problems. Soft lenses are available for both daily wear and extended wear. Extended-wear lenses can be worn continuously for seven to thirty days.
Bi-Focal Contact Lenses
Available in both soft and rigid gas-permeable materials, bi-focal contacts work the same way that bi-focal glasses do. One type of bi-focal lens is made with two different prescriptions in the upper and lower half of the lens. As the eye moves, the lens stays in place. There are also lenses that offer progressive bi-focal and multi-focal vision correction.
Both rigid gas-permeable and soft lenses can be colored. Most people choose colored lenses to change their appearance while keeping the vision correction they need. In choosing colored lenses, some users opt for a similar color that enhances their own, a completely different natural color, or an artificial color just for fun. Some users also choose light-filtering lenses that work like sunglasses.
Most people find contact lenses easy to use once they get past the initial period of adaptation. Doctors recommend wearing a new pair of lenses only a short time the first day and a little bit longer each day for the first week. To learn more about different types of colored contacts, visit this page.