Popular Types of Contact Lenses

If you wear glasses and are thinking about trying contact lenses, there are many things to consider. Surely you’re aware of some of the benefits of wearing contacts, such as freedom from bulky glasses as well as better peripheral vision. You may be a bit nervous about inserting contact lenses or even about care and maintenance. Before you worry about those details, you should learn a bit about the different types of contact lens options available to you. Educating yourself about the different lenses that are currently in the marketplace will put you one step ahead. Below is an overview about some of the different lenses that your optician may prescribe for you. Arm yourself with the following information before going to your eye doctor and you’ll be in a much better position to come out with what’s best for you.

Toric Lenses

Toric lenses are designed to have the effect of a cylindrical lens, usually in combination with the effect of a spherical lens. Toric lenses are typically used by nearsighted and farsighted people who also have astigmatism. Usually, these people have been told they are not suitable for regular contact lenses, but may be able to use toric lenses. If one of your eyes has astigmatism and the other does not, you may be told to use a spherical lens in one eye and a toric lens in the other. Toric lenses are made from the same materials as regular contact lenses but have a few notable differences. Some of these differences include:

– They are not symmetrical and may contain a specific ‘top’ and ‘bottom’ – They must be designed to maintain their orientation – They correct for both cylindrical aberration and spherical aberration – They may be a bit more expensive and are generally intended for extended wear

Rigid Gas Permeable Lenses

Rigid gas permeable contact lenses were introduced in the late 1970’s. While rigid gas permeable lenses (or RGP’s) are more rigid or firm than soft contact lenses, they mustn’t be confused with the old style of ‘hard’ contact lenses, which are no longer used. Most rigid gas permeable lenses incorporate silicone, which is oxygen permeable. Essentially, what this means is that oxygen can physically pass through the lenses and reach your eyes. Rigid gas permeable lenses typically last longer than soft contact lenses. They may also provide better vision, durability and deposit resistance. RGP’s can be easier to clean and due to their long-lasting quality may prove to be cheaper in the long run.

Vial Lenses

Vial contact lenses are basically rigid gas permeable lens that are designed to be worn for up to a year. Vial lenses must be removed, cleaned and sterilized on a nightly basis. Vial lenses can be both soft or rigid. The main difference between vial lenses and other types of contact lenses lies in the amount of time that one pair of lenses will last. Though daily wear contact lenses and disposable lenses have grown in popularity, may people still prefer the durability of rigid gas permeable vial lenses. Vial lenses last a long time and are said to provide excellent vision correction. On the other hand, they tend to be thicker than disposable lenses and can take a while to get used to.

The Choice is Yours

Now that you know a bit more about some of the different types of available contact lenses, you’ll be better equipped to make decisions about your vision care. Make sure to consult with your doctor about your lifestyle and specific vision problems to further help you determine which lenses are best for you.

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