Types of Contact Lenses

Contact lenses come in a range of different types to suit you and your lifestyle. Our qualified optometrists will help you decide which are the most suitable contact lenses for you. Contact lens technology is improving all the time, so it is important that you maintain regular contact with Focal Point so that you get the best available contact lenses.

DISPOSABLE LENSES

Disposable lenses are designed to be worn for a limited time and then discarded. Disposables have a replacement schedule which can range from 1 day to 3 months depending on how well they are taken care of and the environment in which they are worn. Disposable lenses are more comfortable and easy to maintain because they are used till the replacement time and just thrown away.

ADVANTAGES

- No build up of deposits, because of the short life span of the lens
- Reduced risk of inflammation
- Spare lenses are readily available
- Cost of replacement less, if lost or damaged
- Less time and effort required with cleaning of lenses
- Good for contact sports or where risk of losing them is higher than normal

DISAVANTAGES

- Increased cost on an annual basis
- Can be more difficult to handle
- Unable to fit all people due to eye shape or condition
- A subset of soft contact lenses

DAILY WEAR SOFT CONTACT LENSES

Daily wear soft lenses are made of polymer-plastic materials that are flexible. These lenses allow oxygen to pass through to the cornea, provide great comfort, and are easy to adjust to. They can also be worn for longer periods of time and can come in different colors. Some drawbacks include a shorter life span, an inability to correct some vision problems, and a lack of durability. They are great for sports or where the risk of losing them is higher than normal and and are readily available. They are disposed of at the end of the day, so you start each day with a fresh pair.

ADVANTAGES

- Good initial comfort
- Fewer problems with wind, dust and glare
- Suitable for contact sports
- Good for intermittent wear
- No blur when wearing spectacles following removal of contact lenses
- Less likely to be lost
- Lenses will usually last 1-2 years (not an implied guarantee)

A percentage of the lens is composed of water (between 38-74%), Being a larger size than a RGP contact lens, the soft contact lens has an approximate diameter of 14mm.

DISADVANTAGES

- Lens cleaning takes more time, and is essential
- More prone to deposits
- Lenses tend to dehydrate easier, i.e. with concentrated tasks e.g. VDU
- Easier to rip, split or damage
- More likely to encounter problems with long-term wear.

EXTENDED WEAR LENSES

Extended wear lenses are soft lenses that have been made to allow for longer periods of time (about 7 days) without removal and cleaning. These lenses allow more oxygen to pass through to the cornea. An example of these types of lenses is Focus® NIGHT & DAY™; lenses which allow for 30 nights of continuous wear. These lenses are made from silicone hydrogel that allows up to 6 times more oxygen to pass through than disposable lenses, do not dry up as much as ordinary soft contact lenses, and have a bio-compatible lens surface that decreases protein and bacteria buildup.

RIGID GAS-PERMEABLE(RGP) LENSES

Rigid gas-permeable lenses are similar to hard contact lenses but are made of better material that allows more oxygen to pass through then even soft contacts. They are made of hard plastic that gives crisp vision and corrects most vision problems. They are durable and have a longer life span than soft contact lenses. Like hard lenses they do require some time to get used to and are not recommended for highly physical activities.

ADVANTAGES

- Have a diameter of approximately 9 to 9.5mm, and are available in a wide range of gas permeable materials.

- Good vision
- Ease of maintenance
- Few solution allergies
- Good for long-term health of eye
- Lenses tend to last longer(up to five years)

DISADVANTAGES

- Intially less comfortable and longer adaption time
- More problems with wind, dust and glare
- Easier to lose
- Not usually compatible with spectacle wear, as you may experience blurring of vision with glasses for a period of time after removal of the lens