How to Choose the Right Contact Lens

August 16, 2009 by  
Filed under Contact Lenses

Contact lens technology has evolved so much that today’s contact lenses are safe, durable, and comfortable to wear. And there are also disposable contact lenses and fashion contact lenses to choose from. Still, contact lens using is not a totally risk free arena and knowing the fundamentals of it will help you make the right choice under the guidance of your doctor.

Current day designs of RGP or Rigid Gas Permeable contact lenses, allow five times as much of oxygen permeability through the plastic as its older models. This lessens the chances of corneal infection due to lack of oxygen, which was one of the defects of the older models. RGP contact lenses are more durable than soft contact lenses, and will be good up to two to three years. They are also good as contact lenses for astigmatism. One drawback is its limited flexibility and the resultant unsuitability for some.

Soft contact lenses are more flexible and so more comfortable to wear. It fits easily and the user gets adjusted to it quite fast. Soft contact lenses are made of special hydrophilic plastic polymers and the manufacturing methods are now so well evolved that the chances of the lens developing a tear is very low. The only downside with soft contact lenses is that they last less and so have to be replaced often.

Hard contact lenses may be less comfortable and makes the user slightly more prone to infection or scarring. But for some people its rigidity is their requirement. And hard contact lenses work well as contact lenses for astigmatism also.

Other categories of contact lenses are the following:

More than 80% of contact lens users prefer daily wear contact lenses that is worn during work and removed at bed time. The advantage of this type of contact lenses is that its chances of scarring and infection are very low. Unlike contact lenses designed for extended wear, these ensure enough supply of oxygen to the eyes. Daily removal also frees the user from the risk of the lens slipping off during night resulting in pain and other complications.

While the functionality of daily wear contact lenses is good, the daily insertion and removal might become a tedious job. And the removed ones have to be sterilized before re-insertion. Frequent touching of the eye that a daily wear contact lens necessitates, poses its own risks. That is what makes lots of people prefer extended wear contact lenses since these can be kept on for anything from two days to a month, based on the design of the contacts and requirement of the patient.

Extended wear contact lenses are costlier, even though the price fluctuates often. And its limited oxygen supply to the eyes increases the possibility of infection and other eye problems. And those contact lenses that can be worn for a month will be stiffer by nature and as such not too comfortable for wearing. However, if we look into all pluses and minuses, the present day contact lens models designed to be worn for longer periods seems to be the best option.

The final decision on the choice of the best contact lens can be made based on your wearing comfort and the advice of your eye doctor.