Contact lens guide

contact lens guide-parrellioptical boston


Don’t want to wear glasses? Contact lenses are a great alternative. And with so many varieties to choose from, nearly everyone can wear them. Daily disposable lenses make wearing contacts a breeze — wear them once and throw them away.

Soft lenses

This type of contact lens is made from gel-like, water-containing plastics called hydrogels. These lenses are very thin and pliable and conform to the front surface of the eye.  are extremely comfortable and easy to apply. This type of contact lens stays in place and is easier to adjust than hard contact lenses. 

Gas permeable lenses

Also called RGP lenses, gas permeable contact lenses are rigid contact lenses that maintain their shape on the eye, enabling them to better correct astigmatism and other refractive errors.

Gas permeable contact lenses are typically smaller in diameter than soft lenses and are made of highly oxygen-permeable materials.

It may take some time for your eyes to adjust to RGP lenses when you first start wearing them, but after this initial period, most people find RGP lenses are as comfortable like soft lenses.

Contact lens wearing time

There are two categories of contact lenses based on recommended wearing time:

  • Daily wear contact lenses — These must be removed nightly before sleep.

  • Extended wear contact lenses — These can be worn overnight (for a limited number of days).

“Continuous wear” is a term that’s sometimes used to describe extended wear lenses that are worn 24 hours per day for up to 30 consecutive days.

When to replace your contact lenses

Even with proper care, contact lenses (especially soft contacts) should be replaced frequently to prevent the build-up of lens deposits and contamination that increase the risk of eye infections.

Soft lenses have these general classifications, based on how frequently they should be discarded:

  • Daily disposable lenses — Discard after a single day of wear

  • Disposable lenses — Discard every two weeks, or sooner

  • Frequent replacement lenses — Discard monthly or quarterly

  • Traditional (reusable) lenses — Discard every six months or longer

Gas permeable contact lenses are more resistant to lens deposits and don’t need to be discarded as frequently as soft lenses. Often, GP lenses can last a year or longer before they need to be replaced.

Contact lens wear and care

Caring for your contact lenses — cleaning, disinfecting, and storing them — is quite simple.

Most people require only a single multipurpose solution to clean, disinfect and safely store their lenses.

People who are sensitive to the preservatives in multipurpose solutions might need preservative-free systems, such as those containing hydrogen peroxide.

Your eye doctor will recommend a lens care system. Be sure to follow the care directions carefully.

Of course, you can avoid lens care altogether by wearing daily disposable contact lenses.

Contact lens problems

If you experience discomfort or poor vision when wearing contact lenses, chances are that an adjustment or change of lens can help.

Today, more contact lens choices than ever are available to provide comfort, good vision, and healthy eyes. If your eyes or lenses are uncomfortable or you are not seeing well, remove your lenses and consult your eye doctor immediately.

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