Understanding the Different Types of Contact Lenses and Their Purposes

Understanding the Different Types of Contact Lenses and Their Purposes

Understanding the Different Types of Contact Lenses and Their Purposes

Contact lenses have come a long way since Bausch & Lomb introduced them in the 1970s. Thanks to improved materials and new technologies, they’re highly advanced. Overall, contacts are safer, more comfortable to wear, and longer-lasting. So, if you’re interested in wearing contacts, it would help to understand the different types, as well as their purposes.

However, even with this knowledge, an eye care specialist will offer recommendations as part of an examination. They’ll consider several factors, such as your vision, any existing problems, eye sensitivity, and even the size and shape of your eyes. After all, their goal is to fit you with contacts that improve your vision and feel comfortable.


The Different Types of Contact Lenses


As you can see from the list below, you now have multiple options when it comes to contact lenses.




Made with a combination of soft, flexible plastics and water, soft contact lenses allow oxygen to reach the cornea. Of all the available options, soft contacts are the most commonly worn. Not only are they incredibly comfortable, but they are also easy to adjust to wearing.

Soft contacts help correct hyperopia, otherwise known as farsightedness. However, due to the soft, flexible materials used to make them, they can’t correct astigmatism. While they can correct mild to moderate levels of myopia, they aren’t used for severe cases.




Also known as hard or rigid contacts, gas-permeable lenses are the second most common type worn. Made of harder plastics, they’re amazingly durable. In addition, these contacts resist the buildup of deposits produced by the eyes. Therefore, they’re easy to clean, and they create crisper vision.

Also, they help correct myopia, as well as presbyopia, a kind of farsightedness that occurs when a lens in the eye loses its elasticity. Due to their rigidness, they can correct astigmatism as well.


Daily and Extended Wear


You can use daily wear contacts while awake but then remove them before going to bed. In comparison, extended-wear contact lenses can stay in the eyes anywhere from one night up to 30 days. It all depends on the brand of contact lenses, as well as the individual’s eyes.

Although they each correct vision problems, they work in different ways. Both daily wear and extended-wear contacts can correct hyperopia, myopia, and astigmatism. You can also have them tinted to enhance your natural eye color or completely change it. Also, a reputable laboratory can create UV-protected bifocal and trifocal lenses.




Hybrid contact lenses have a unique design. That consists of a rigid gas-permeable center that’s surrounded by a soft material. Not only do they stay in place better than other contacts, but they’re also more comfortable. However, there’s another unique aspect of hybrid lenses. Typically, they’re made for people with irregular corneas.




Often referred to as Ortho-K contact lenses, their special design reshapes the cornea. As far as correcting vision, they help with myopia, although they’re only a temporary solution. For reshaping the cornea, a person wears them at night and then removes them in the morning.




As a type of gas-permeable lens, they differ from standard lenses due to their large size. Instead of resting solely on the cornea, they cover the sclera or the white portion of the eye. Also, fluid collects within a small space between the cornea and the lens. That’s what makes them beneficial to people with damaged corneas and severe dry eye.


Have Your Eyes Examined Regularly


If you want to wear contact lenses, call Eye Carumba Optometry in San Francisco, California, at 415-360-6900. Based on the outcome, we’ll offer recommendations specifically for you.

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