Contact lenses remain a popular vision correction option because of the many visual benefits they provide. They come in different types, each with distinct features to address specific eye care needs. The Northern Virginia Doctors of Optometry discusses our options in detail:
Based on Their Replacement Schedule
Contact lenses have varying replacement schedules to match different lifestyles. Traditional pairs are often used for a span of six months or even longer. Frequent replacement ones, on the other hand, are meant to be discarded after a few weeks or months. We also have daily disposables meant for one-time use, reducing your risk of infections.
Based on Their Material
The first contact lenses were made from a hard, clear, plastic material known as the polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA). Although they provided superior visual clarity, their impermeability to oxygen often caused eye discomfort. Fortunately, soft contact lenses were introduced in the early 1970s. This variety used hydrogels to maintain the user’s eye comfort.
Rigid, gas-permeable contact lenses (RGP) came out in 1978. They were made of non-pliable, porous plastics, allowing you to enjoy sharper vision. Hybrid pairs were also introduced around this time. They combined the best features of both hard and soft contact lenses with their rigid center and soft lens skirt.
Based on Their Wearing Time
Most contact lenses are considered as daily wear, meaning that you should remove and clean before turning in for the night. This was the norm until extended wear pairs were introduced in 1979. They may be left in your eyes for as long as seven consecutive days without removing them, even while you’re sleeping. Similarly, Ortho-K contact lenses are also worn at night. They gently reshape your cornea while you sleep. Upon waking up, you may remove them and experience improved vision for a whole day without having to use prescription eyewear.
For those with keratoconus or other corneal irregularities, we may prescribe scleral contact lenses. They have a wider diameter than your regular ones, allowing them to cover most of your eyes’ surface for better eyesight.
The best way to know which contact lens type is right for you is through an eye exam. Call us today at one of our locations, or complete our form to request an appointment. We provide eye care in Crystal City, Clarendon, Alexandria, Falls Church and Reston VA.