Types of Gas Permeable Contact Lenses

Contact lenses today are designed to be gas permeable. This means that whatever material the lens is made of allows gases such as oxygen to pass through the surface of the lens. Each time you remove or insert a new pair of contact lenses, you should not only clean your lenses, but disinfect them as well. Your eyes are susceptible to many different bacteria, which can cause infections and other eye problems if your lenses are not kept sanitary.

  1. Soft Contact Lenses

    • Soft contact lenses are made from a flexible plastic or silicone-hydrogel. The material allows oxygen to pass through the lens to your eye. Soft contact lenses are a good choice if you have an active lifestyle or if you have other eye issues, such as astigmatism. Most wearers find soft contact lenses to be very comfortable and easy to wear. Your eyes can adjust to soft contact lenses over just a few days rather than weeks.

    Hard Contact Lenses

    • Hard contact lenses, also called rigid gas permeable lenses, are more durable than soft contact lenses and resist deposits more effectively than soft contact lenses. Overall, they are less expensive than soft contact lenses because they do not tear as often and they have a much longer lifespan. Unfortunately, they are not as comfortable to wear as soft contact lenses, and it can take several weeks for your eyes to adjust to them.

    Extended Wear Contact Lenses

    • Extended wear contact lenses are usually soft contact lenses, but there are varieties designed for overnight wear that are rigid. Extended wear lenses are specially formulated to be worn for time periods ranging from overnight to up to 30 days. Your experience with extended wear lenses may vary depending on the type of lens your doctor prescribes and your eye's tolerance for long-term wear.

    Disposable Contact Lenses

    • Disposable contact lenses can be either soft or hard lenses, and they are designed to wear for one day and then throw away. The advantage to disposable lenses is that each time you open a new pair, the lenses are cleaner than most solutions can achieve. These types of lenses do require cleaning if you remove them at all, but not on a daily basis. Your doctor can prescribe several types of disposable lenses; some of which you dispose of daily, others are extended wear disposables.

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  • Photo Credit green lens 2 image by Bosko Martinovic from Fotolia.com

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