Posted on July 13th, 2017

There are two general categories of contact lenses- soft and rigid gas permeable (RGP).

Soft contact lenses are made of soft, flexible plastics that allow oxygen to pass through the lens to the cornea. Soft contact lenses may be easier to adjust to and are more comfortable than rigid gas permeable lenses. Newer soft lens materials include silicone-hydrogels to provide more oxygen to your eye while you wear your lenses.

The majority of soft contact lens wearers are prescribed some type of frequent replacement schedule. “Disposable,” as defined by the FDA, means used once and discarded. With a true daily wear disposable schedule, a brand new pair of lenses is used each day. This is great because you do not have to worry about cleaning the lens and if you suffer from allergies you are getting a fresh, clean pair of lenses every day. People think these lenses are very expensive, but they really are not. Come and find out how affordable a daily disposable lens can be.

Some soft contact lenses are referred to as “disposable” by contact lens sellers, but actually, they are for planned replacement. With these lenses, the lenses may be worn for the prescribed wearing period (for example, 2 weeks to 1 month) and then thrown away. When you remove your lenses, make sure to clean and disinfect them properly before reinserting.

Rigid gas permeable contact lenses (RGPs) are more durable and resistant to deposit buildup, and generally give a clearer, crisper vision. These lenses are great for patients with a significant amount of astigmatism. They tend to be less expensive over the life of the lens since they last longer than soft contact lenses. They are easier to handle and less likely to tear. However, they are not as comfortable initially as soft contacts and it may take a few weeks to get used to wearing RGPs, compared to several days for soft contacts.

There are also specialty contact lenses in both soft and RGP that correct for astigmatism and even have a bifocal so that you can see both distance and near! The doctors here at Northwest Hills Eye Care enjoy fitting all types of contact lenses on all ages. Remember that contact lenses are a medical device because they are resting on the eye and therefore must be fit to the shape and size of each person’s eye. Therefore, all contact lenses require a valid prescription! Come see us to discuss your contact lens options.