Tired of wearing glasses? At VisionCare Associates, we offer many kinds of contact lenses from the widest variety of contact lens manufacturers possible.
As contact lenses are not a one size fits all product, it is important to understand the many kinds available to ensure you pick the best kind for your eyes.
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Materials Contact Lenses are Made From
There are five types of contact lenses based on the material they are made of. These include:
- Soft Lenses: Soft lenses are thin and pliable and made from gel-like water-containing plastics called hydrogels. Hydrogels conform to the eye’s front surface, making them more comfortable to wear.
- Silicone Hydrogel Lenses: This is a more advanced type of soft contact lens. It is more porous than a normal hydrogel lens, which allows more oxygen to reach the cornea. These are the most popular lenses currently prescribed in the United States.
- Gas Permeable Lenses: This kind of lens is also called a GP or RGP lens. These are rigid contact lenses that are porous and allow oxygen to pass through them. When compared to PMMA lenses (polymethyl methacrylate) gas permeable lenses can fit closer to the eye, making them more comfortable than a conventional hard lens. For those with astigmatism, gas permeable lenses often provide sharper vision than soft or hydrogel contact lenses.
- Hybrid Contact Lenses: As the name suggests, hybrid contact lenses are meant to be a hybrid. They provide comfort that is equal to soft or silicone hydrogel lenses and combine that with the clear vision of a gas permeable lens. This is possible because hybrid lenses have a rigid gas permeable central zone that is then surrounded by what is known as a “skirt” of hydrogel or silicone hydrogel material.
- PMMA Lenses: PMMA lens material is from a transparent rigid plastic material called polymethyl methacrylate. These lenses provide excellent vision, but they can’t transmit oxygen to the eye, making them harder to adapt to.
How Often Should You Change Your Contact Lenses?
Wearing your contact lenses for too long without changing them can lead to the build-up of lens deposits. It can also increase your chances of developing an eye infection. Follow these recommendations for soft lenses and when to change them:
- Daily disposable lenses: Daily disposable lenses, also called dailies, should always be thrown away and discarded after a single day of wear.
- Disposable Lenses: Disposable lenses should be thrown away after two weeks, or sooner. If your contact lens looks ripped or torn, you may need to do this sooner. Wearing a ripped or torn contact lens could cause damage to your eyes.
- Frequent replacement lenses: If you wear these kinds of contacts, you should replace them every month or every quarter.
- Reusable lenses: Replace traditional reusable contact lenses every six months or longer. With gas permeable lenses, they may last a year or longer before you need to replace them.
How Do I Get a Contact Lens Prescription?
If you want to wear contact lenses and you do not already, the first step is to schedule an appointment at VisionCare Associates. When you come in for your eye exam, make sure to mention that you are interested in contact lenses to your eye doctor, as there are additional tests needed when performing a contact lens fitting.
After taking measurements of your cornea, pupil, and iris, your eye doctor will have a better idea of the best contact lenses for your eyes.
Considering wearing contact lenses? Schedule a contact lens fitting appointment at VisionCare Associates in East Lansing, MI.