Types of contact lenses

There are a wide range of contact lenses available to the consumer which includes daily disposable, monthly disposable, extended wear and varifocal lenses.

Basically there is a type of lens for every eye problem which can make it difficult knowing which type to choose. Your optician will be able to advise you about this but personal choice also plays a part.

Plus there is the fact that your eyes are unique to you. Whilst conditions such as short sightedness (myopia) and long sightedness (hypermetropia) are very common, nevertheless, there is no ‘one size fits all’ set of lenses.

The type of contact lens you wear is dictated by personal preference but also includes your type of ‘refractive error’, your prescription and your eye health.

So what choices are available?

Two categories of contact lenses

In order to help you choose, we have categorised the various types of lenses into two sections:

Soft contact lenses appear to be the most popular type of lens. They are made from a soft, flexible, water-containing material and slip easily in and out of the eye.

There are many different types of soft lenses which include bifocal lenses, continuous wear lenses and sports lenses. These and many others are discussed as a series of individual pages within the soft lenses section.

The other category of lenses is gas permeable lenses. Whilst these may not be as popular as soft lenses they are still worn by people with specific eye problems such as astigmatism.

There are lenses for certain eye conditions such as presbyopia, for example bifocal lenses, which are available as either a soft lens or a gas permeable lens. Then there is what is known as ‘hybrid contact lenses’ which are a combination of the two.

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