Contact lenses are becoming more accessible to more people. Over the years the prices have fallen, and the options have increased. So, what are the pros and cons of the different types of contact lenses? Let’s first look at glasses compared to contact lenses.
Glasses versus contact lenses
Glasses require less maintenance and tend to be cheaper then contact lenses because they do not need to be replaced as often. You also don’t have to touch your eyes when putting them on, which means, unlike with contact lenses, infection risk is not an issue. However, with contact lenses you can participate in activities that may be tricky with glasses, they don’t mist up and of course, you get to have a glasses-free face!
Types of contact lens
There are two main types:Soft contact lenses
These are made of soft plastic which makes them very comfortable to wear. Soft lenses that are made of silicone hydrogels are even healthier for the eye, as they allow more oxygen to reach the cornea. There are different types of soft contact lens, depending on how frequently they must be replaced.
Daily contact lenses are the most commonly used soft lenses in the UK. As the name indicates, daily contact lenses should be disposed of and replaced every day. Some people opt to wear daily contact lenses only on special occasions such as playing sport, and wear their glasses at other times. The daily contact lenses are also a great option for people who don’t want to be bothered with strict cleaning and maintenance routines. With the daily contact lenses, you don’t have to worry about buying specialised cleaning solutions and kit. What is more, by changing lenses every day, you avoid the accumulation of substances such as proteins which can occur with longer-wear lenses and which can cause irritation as well as pre-dispose to infection.
Other types of soft lenses are designed to be replaced every few weeks or months and include two-weekly disposable, monthly disposable and extended wear. These soft lenses are worn for longer periods than the daily contact lenses: because of this, they require cleaning and storage, unlike the daily contact lenses which are just thrown away. These types of longer-wear soft lenses are great for people who want to wear their lenses most days but want to pay less than it would cost for daily contact lenses.Gas permeable lenses
These are more rigid than the soft contact lenses, so they are less comfortable initially, however once you get used to them, they are fine. With the advent of soft contact lenses including daily contact lenses, the rigid lenses have become less popular. However, they are hard-wearing and can be worn for longer periods, so can be an economical option.
If you are thinking about ditching your glasses completely or alternating between glasses and contact lenses pay a visit to an optician to discover the options available to you. Whether you plump for daily contact lenses or the hard-wearing gas permeable lens, your optician will help you make the right decision for your lifestyle, budget and personal preferences.
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