Contact lens types: an introduction
Increased choice in the contact lens market often translates to increased confusion amongst new contact lens wearers. Are dailies really the best? Maybe you should try continuous wear? And what the heck are torics used for?
If some of these questions are buzzing around your brain, no worries. In this post, we’ll explore the major types of contact lenses available on our website. After you’ve finished reading this piece, you should have a good sense of what lenses would work best for your lifestyle.
What are your vision correction needs?
In most cases, contacts are used for correcting a vision problem and the type of lens you choose should be designed to cater for your particular requirements. For example, toric lenses are for the treatment of astigmatism, while multifocal and varifocal lenses are for those with presbyopia.
These days, there are many kinds of contact lenses, and even those who do not have problems with their sight may still choose to get coloured lenses for cosmetic reasons.
When choosing coloured contact lenses, you can select from a rainbow of colours that alter your appearance. Options include natural blues, greens, browns and hazels, as well as more dramatic tones like brilliant blue or gemstone green.
What is your Lifestyle?
How you want to wear your contact lenses can make a big difference to the type of contact lenses that you buy.
- Full Time Wearer - Generally wants to wear them every day, maybe having a day off every now and then if their eyes are tired.
This type of user is ideally suited to Daily Lenses, which are thrown away each evening for total convenience or two weekly or monthly contact lenses
- Occasional Wearer - Maybe wants to wear them only on weekends or for sports/special occasions.
This type of user is also ideally suited to daily lens wear - no fussy cleaning and the cost is relatively low as the contact lenses are only worn on occasions
- Put them in and Forget about them Wearer! - Ideally suited to certain occupations like firemen or hospital workers who want to be able to see immediately on waking, and those of us who really can't be bothered to put lenses in and take them out each day!
There is only one answer here - apart from laser surgery - and that is continuous wear contact lenses. As the name suggest, you put them in and leave them in for up to a month at a time, 24 hours a day. Surpremely convenient - but they do require careful fitting by an Optometrist plus regular check ups to make sure that there are no complications from wearing them day in and day out.
1. The Optometrists Favorite: Daily Disposable
We’ll start our list with arguably the most talked-about lens type in the modern contact lens industry: daily disposable lenses (aka dailies).
As you might’ve guessed already, these lenses are only intended for one-day use. Dailies users throw away their soft contacts every night and open a new pack of lenses every morning.
The reason dailies have grown so popular has to do with their high safety profile. Because you dispose of dailies before bed, it’s extremely difficult for sight-robbing infections to invade your eyes.
Plus, people who wear daily disposable lenses don’t have to put up with pesky protein deposits that often accumulate on weekly or monthly contacts. Not only do these protein accumulations cloud up your vision, but they could also cause serious eye irritation and even scratch the cornea.
Thanks to modern manufacturing processes, dailies have never been as affordable as they are today. This doesn’t mean, however, daily contacts are necessarily cheap. Indeed, usually daily disposable contacts are the most expensive option in the contact lens market.
Also, since dailies are thrown away every night, they have drawn the ire of environmentalists concerned about ocean pollution. Dailies wearers are strongly encouraged to get in the habit of throwing their lenses in a recycling bin.
In terms of safety, comfort, and convenience, however, dailies remain the king. If you make the investment in these lenses, you’ll be rewarded with a greatly reduced risk of eye discomfort and infection.
People who live extremely busy lifestyles and struggle to practice proper hygiene are prime candidates for these one-day lenses. Dry eye sufferers and professional athletes also frequently use dailies lenses to their advantage.
You can learn even more about daily disposable lenses by clicking on this link to our official catalogue.
2. A Middle Of The Road Option: Weekly Contacts
Weekly contacts are similar to daily contacts…only they last for weeks rather than one day. Most often weekly contacts are intended for two-week usage, but always check with the manufacturer’s expiration date just to be sure.
Obviously, since you wear weekly lenses longer than dailies, you’re at a slightly higher risk of developing infections. Investing in a good all-in-one solution and thoroughly cleaning your lenses every day is key to keeping your eyes super safe.
Patients who don’t want the increased risks of wearing monthly lenses but don’t want the higher price tag of dailies might enjoy weekly contacts. Take a peek at our weekly lenses line on this official webpage.
3. Eco-Friendly & Economical: Monthly Contact Lenses
Patients with great hygiene skills who are looking for a more affordable option might want to look into monthly disposable contacts. Usually intended for 30-day use, these soft contacts are certainly a cheaper option. They do, however, come with an increased risk of infection and eye discomfort, due toi an inevitable accumulation of contact lens deposits from your tears and the environment.
Investing in a powerful all-in-one solution is a must for any monthly contact lens wearer. Definitely check out our line of premium solutions if you’re seriously considering monthly contacts.
Please keep in mind monthly contacts should not be worn overnight unless they are clearly listed as “continuous wear” products.
It goes without saying that people interested in monthly contact lenses must have immaculate contact lens hygiene. A few essential techniques all monthly wearers need to master include:
- Washing and drying their hands before picking up lenses.
- Never exposing contacts to tap water.
- Taking lenses out before bedtime.
- Washing lenses in doctor-approved solution.
- Submerging contacts in contact solution overnight in a clean contact lens case.
You could check out our extensive list of monthly disposable contacts by visiting this official webpage.
Author: John Dreyer Optometrist Bsc(Hons), MCOPTOM, DipCLP
Created: 24 Apr 2015, Last modified: 10 Feb 2020