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What are Medical Contact Lenses? Discover the Types of Medical Contact Lenses

What are Medical Contact Lenses? Discover the Types of Medical Contact Lenses

Ever wondered if medical contact lenses are the right option for you or if they will effectively correct your vision needs? In this article, we will discuss the many different types of contact lenses and how you can identify the perfect type of contact lenses to fix your vision problems. 

What are Medical Contact Lenses Used for? 

Medical contact lenses are used for vision correction needs. They are an alternative to wearing eyeglasses and come in a variety of types that make them ideal for correcting a wide range of vision problems, from near-sightedness to far-sightedness and presbyopia. Medical contact lenses eliminate the need for glasses and are a convenient option for those who live busy lives and need a dependable method of vision correction that is both low-key and effective. While most contact lenses require some amount of general maintenance, there are ways you can get around that, like by using daily disposable lenses for example. 

Types of Medical Contact Lenses by Lens Material

Soft Lenses or Silicone Hydrogel Lenses 

Silicone Hydrogel lenses are the most common and most popular type of medical contact lenses on the market. These lenses offer exceptional hydration thanks to their superior moisture holding capabilities. Some lenses also offer UV protection, making them ideal for outdoor use. Soft lenses are relatively easier to get used to and are available for a range of vision needs. 

Rigid Gas Permeable Lenses

Rigid Gas Permeable lenses or RGP lenses are a harder, more durable version of soft contact lenses. These lenses are great for vision correction and offer excellent oxygen permeability. However, in contrast to soft contact lenses, hard contact lenses can be a bit difficult to get used to due to their rigid structure. RGP lenses are normally recommended for those with high astigmatism as they offer more precise correction. Rigid gas-permeable lenses are a solid choice for clear vision and are great value for money due to their exceptional durability. 

Types of Medical Contact Lenses by Wear Schedule 

Daily Disposable Lenses 

Daily disposable lenses eliminate the need for regular cleaning and disinfection, making them ideal for those who want a quick and convenient method of vision correction. Daily disposable lenses are also highly recommended for those who are prone to eye infections and excessive protein buildup. By disposing of your contacts every day, you limit the chances of developing uncomfortable irritation. 

Bi-Weekly Lenses 

Bi-weekly lenses are a long term solution for vision correction. These lenses can be re-used for up to 14 consecutive days. Unlike daily disposable lenses, bi-weekly lenses require regular maintenance and disinfection after each wear. You will have to soak these lenses in a disinfecting solution or a multi-purpose cleaning solution in order to remove dirt and debris and get them ready for another day of wear. 

Monthly Lenses 

Monthly lenses are another long term option that is available on the market. These lenses are a reliable choice for those who are looking for a long-term solution for their eye care needs. Like bi-weekly lenses, monthly lenses also require regular cleaning and disinfection. Monthly lenses tend to be more durable than daily disposable lenses and might turn out to be cheaper in the long run if you are a regular contact lens wearer.

Extended-Wear Lenses 

Extended-wear lenses break all the limits when it comes to the potential of contact lenses. While daily disposable, bi-weekly and monthly lenses can only be worn for up to 16 hours at a time and require either disposal or disinfection before the next wear, extended wear lenses can be worn continuously from 7 to 30 days! These lenses are also safe to be worn overnight. While it is generally recommended to avoid wearing contact lenses while you sleep, this is a great option if you are prone to falling asleep with your lenses in. 

Types of Medical Contact Lenses by Eye Condition 

There are several types of contact lenses available on the market to treat a variety of eye conditions. Depending on the refractive error, either spherical lenses or cylindrical lenses are used to improve vision. Those with myopia and hyperopia need treatment with spherical lenses whereas those with astigmatism will benefit from cylindrical lenses. 

Toric Lenses 

Toric lenses have both spherical and cylindrical power to correct myopia or hyperopia and astigmatism, respectively. Toric lenses are also available as soft and hard lenses. While soft lenses offer more comfort, hard lenses offer greater correction for those with high astigmatism. 

Multifocal Lenses 

Multifocal lenses are meant for those with presbyopia, a condition brought on by old age that makes it difficult to see objects that are nearby. Multifocal lenses can correct refractive errors at various distances, allowing the user to see nearby, intermediate as well as far away objects clearly. 

How Do I Choose the Right Contact Lenses for Myself? 

Choosing the right medical contact lenses for your needs is not a hard task. In fact, the choice is usually not in your hands. We always recommend going with the suggestion of your eye doctor or optometrist. The type of contacts you wear should depend on your particular vision needs and comfort. Those with astigmatism will benefit from toric lenses made for astigmatism and those with sensitivity to protein buildup should stick to daily disposable lenses to avoid irritation. 

However, it is also important to do your own research about the kinds of lenses that are available and how to use and maintain each one. If you come across a product that may benefit you, talk to your doctor to understand if it would be a good idea for you to switch. When it comes to choosing what type of contact lenses to wear, always prioritize your eye health and vision. 

Frequently Asked Questions: 

Can I sleep with my contacts in?

We don’t recommend sleeping with your contact lenses in, unless you are wearing extended wear contact lenses. If you do end up sleeping in contact lenses, remove them as soon as you wake up and monitor for any discomfort. Visit your eye care specialist if any discomfort persists. 

How often do I need to change my contact lenses? 

You should change your contact lenses as per the replacement schedule. Daily disposable lenses must be replaced every day, monthly lenses every month and so on. However, there are certain circumstances when you will have to replace your lenses at an earlier date. If your lenses get misshapen, torn or damaged in any way, discontinue use immediately.

What do I do if my vision is blurry after wearing contact lenses? 

You will experience some degree of blurriness, especially when you are wearing contact lenses for the first time. This issue should resolve itself in a couple of hours or days. If you find that the problem still persists, we recommend contacting your eye care doctor. 

Are monthly contact lenses better than daily disposable lenses? 

Both monthly contact lenses and daily contacts have their own uses and benefits. Whether one is better than the other depends on your specific needs. If you are looking for a low-maintenance option, daily disposable lenses may be the right choice for you whereas if you are looking for a long-term option, monthly lenses are great value. 

How do I clean my contact lenses? 

Cleaning your contacts in a delicate job that must be undertaken carefully. Always handle your lenses with clean hands and use a multi-purpose cleaning and disinfecting solution to wash away germs and debris from your lenses. Once you have cleaned your lenses, store them in the multipurpose solution for at least six hours to rehydrate them.