Types of contact lenses

There are many different kinds of contact lenses.

These can be grouped according to various factors:

  • Material
  • Period of wearing them (without removing)
  • Lens design

When it comes to material, there are generally 3 kinds – hard, soft, and GP. Hard lenses are made of Plexiglas or Lucite. They are not used much today. Soft lenses are the most commonly used today. They are made of plastic gel which contains water. GP lenses are made of plastic which does not contain water. These lenses are best for astigmatism and presbyopia.

Regarding the period of wearing the contact lenses, there are two types – daily wear and extended wear. Based on the names, the former is meant to be taken out every night while the latter can be worn for at most 7 days.

Lens design determines the purpose for which contact lenses are meant. There are 4 designs – spherical, bifocal, orthokeratology, and toric. The most common are spherical designs, which correct near or far sightedness. Bifocal lenses are meant to help vision problems related to aging. Orthokeratology lenses are meant to shape the cornea at night, during sleep. Toric lenses are meant for those who have astigmatism.

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