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A Guide to The Different Types of Contact Lenses

If you are considering contact lenses there are a few things you should know. This basic guide will be able to answer some of your questions and help you decide if contact lenses might be right for you. Whether you are able to wear contact lenses is something you will need to discuss with your optometrist. Not all eyes are the same, and some are not suitable for contact lenses.

What vision problems can contact lenses correct?

Contact lenses can be used to correct a variety of vision problems including:

Different types of soft lenses

Soft lenses come in a variety of types to suit a variety of needs.

  • Daily wear lenses: Daily wear lenses are typically the least expensive option. You wear the lenses during the day and then remove them each night for cleaning and disinfection. How long you can use a single pair of daily wear lenses varies depending on the manufacturer.
  • Extended wear lenses: Extended wear lenses can be worn while you sleep, but must be removed for cleaning and disinfection at least once per week. You should be cautious of overnight wear though because it can increase your risk of contracting an eye infection.
  • Disposable lenses: These lenses are typically more expensive than daily or extended wear lenses. These lenses are worn during the day and removed at night but do not need to be cleaned or disinfected. You use these lenses for the recommended time frame – daily, weekly or monthly depending on the manufacturer – and then discard them. Disposable lenses are a good option if you only wear contacts occasionally, can’t tolerate the disinfecting solution or are looking for a very convenient option.

Hard (RGP) contact lenses

Rigid Gas-Permeable lenses are an alternative to soft contact lenses. They are more durable than soft lenses and are more breathable, reducing the risk of eye infections. They are especially appealing to people who are unsatisfied with their soft contact lenses or find that their eyes dry out when they wear soft contact lenses. Though most hard contact lenses need to be removed for cleaning and disinfection each night, some can be worn for as long as 30 days.

Though hard lenses can take longer to adjust to than soft contact lenses, they tend to last longer as well. Provided your prescription doesn’t change and you take good care of your hard contact lenses they should last between 2 and 3 years.

For more information about contact lenses, or to schedule an appointment, contact Market Mall Optometry today at 403.286.4884 and visit

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