Contact lenses are a great choice for people who want a change from glasses. The thought of being able to see without having something on your face may be exciting, but before you order your new contact lenses in Cape Cod, MA, make sure you know what you’re ordering and that the contact lenses you choose fit your vision needs.
Here is an overview of the different types of contacts available and how each of them suits different types of vision impairments and issues. Once you understand the differences, visit Bayview Optometrics, where one of our vision experts can ensure you end up with contact lenses that best fit your vision needs.
Soft versus hard contacts
The large majority of contact lens wearers choose soft contacts. Hard, or rigid gas-permeable, lenses are made from silicone materials and provide very clear vision, especially for people with astigmatism. The downside is that they are difficult to get used to, whereas soft contacts are more comfortable. There are also many more soft contact varieties and options.
Daily wear, extended wear or disposable?
Daily wear: These require nightly disinfecting. You can wear the same pair for a set amount of time, but different manufacturers have different time spans—anywhere from two weeks to three months. After that time period, you replace the lenses with a fresh pair. The benefit of these is that they are typically the least expensive option.
Extended wear: With these, you can wear the same pair of contacts every day and even sleep with them in. They usually require weekly disinfecting. However, many eye care professionals do not recommend sleeping in contacts, even if the manufacturer indicates they are safe. Sleeping with contacts in inhibits oxygen from reaching the eye and increases the chance of infection.
Disposable lenses: Wearers throw these lenses out every day. Disposable lenses are more expensive because more pairs are required, but they are convenient and good for folks with allergies or sensitive eyes.
Lenses for various eye conditions
Bi- or multi-focal lenses: These lenses come in both soft and hard versions and improve vision for people with combinations of nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism and loss of close-up vision. There is also an option called “monovision,” in which the wearer has a contact in one eye to correct his farsightedness, and another lens in the other eye to correct his nearsightedness.
Toric lenses for astigmatism: Toric lenses come in many of the varieties mentioned above. They have two powers in them: one for astigmatism and one for near- or farsightedness, similar to bifocal lenses. However, they have a specialized shape to fit the curvature of your eye, which depends on the type of astigmatism you have.
Lenses for dry eyes: Finding a comfortable lens for dry eyes often depends on the lens’ water content and material. Lenses with higher water content tend to make dry eyes worse, but it all depends on what feels most comfortable for you. The type of material determines the amount of oxygen allowed to pass through. Silicone-based hydrogel is said to be ideal for dry eyes because they cause less water to evaporate.
Believe it or not, there are even more options to consider when it comes to choosing the contact lenses in Cape Cod, MA that are right for you. But don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to figure it out on your own. Instead, stop by Bayview Optometrics for a comprehensive eye exam and a discussion about what types of lenses would work best for your vision needs and your lifestyle.