Do you know if you've been fitted with the right contact lenses for your eyes? It is so easy to buy contact lenses online nowadays, but are they all right for your eyes? Although they may look the same there are many different types of contact lenses depending on one's needs and prescription type.
Gas permeable lenses
Rigid gas permeable lenses are made of rigid plastic material that help permeate oxygen to cornea. These lenses have been used since 70's and they provide clear optics, durability, and deposit resistance than soft contact lenses. However, these lenses take longer to adapt to as they are not instantly comfortable upon insertion like soft lenses. These lenses are commonly dispensed for more special types of prescriptions such as high astigmatism and keratoconus. They do not need to be replaced as long as they are not scratched, damaged, or lost!
Soft contact lenses
Most common type of contact lenses being dispensed nowadays are soft contact lenses mainly made of silicone hydrogel. Compared to previously used regular hydrogel lenses, these silicone hydrogel allows more oxygen to pass through by up to five times than hydrogel lenses. They allow cornea to get more oxygen which increases comfortable, longer wear time and better eye health. There are three different types of CL based on prescription needs - Spherical, Toric, and Multifocal contact lenses. Within the specific prescription lenses, they often come in two different base curves to fit the corneal shape as closely as possible. Then they come in three different modality depending on the replacement schedule - daily disposable, bi-weekly disposables, and monthly disposables.
The most healthiest choice would be daily disposables where patients will replace a pair of lenses daily, which means a fresh new pair will be worn everyday decreasing the chance of eye infection and debris formation. These are excellent choice for preventing contact lens-related infections and allergies, as well as for patients who may not be compliant with contact lens hygiene. They are also great for part-time wearers and frequent travelers as it is super easy and convenient.
Another important fact to note is that so many patients overwear their disposable lenses longer than what they are supposed to be used for. They will often “stretch” the wear of the lenses by a couple of weeks or even months! This practice is definitely the biggest cause for infections and cornea tissue damage because once the FDA-approved wear period is over, the lens material loses oxygen permeability and wettability making them no longer a healthy device for the eyes.
At York Medical Eye Care, it is our duty to find the best fit for patients' prescription, lifestyle, and budget to make sure they will be comfortable and compliant with contact lens wear. Contact lens prescription should be only finalized after patients have tried on a pair of trial lenses and checked for fit and comfort. It is also important to note that not everyone will be a good candidate for contact lens wear depending on their corneal health and shape. Proper ocular health examination followed by contact lens insertion and removal training is essential for first-time wearers. Lastly, annual contact lens eye health examination is highly recommended to ensure corneal health.