Disposable Contacts vs. Specialty Contact Lenses
If your vision requires corrective lenses, you have a few different options. One of the most popular is contact lenses. That’s because many people feel that contact lenses are more comfortable than eyeglasses, offer more natural vision, don’t fog up in the cold or rain, and don’t get in the way when engaging in sports or other physical activities.
However, deciding to wear contact lenses is just one of the decisions you’ll have to make. There are numerous types of contact lenses on the market. The right one for you depends on several factors. Your eye doctor can help you determine which product will meet your needs best. Let’s take a look at some of the choices you have.
Disposable soft contact lenses
Disposable soft contact lenses are a popular choice for numerous reasons. You wear these lenses during the daytime for a certain amount of time. Depending on the lens, this could be one to six days, although there are lenses designed for wearing up to 30 days. At the end of the period of use, you discard the lenses and replace them with a fresh pair.
These lenses require little to no cleaning, depending on how long you wear them before discarding them. When you follow the care instructions carefully, the risk of eye infection is low. Disposable soft contact lenses come in a small selection of curvatures and diameters and can sometimes correct astigmatism, presbyopia or both.
Specialty contact lenses
There are many types of specialty contact lenses available to meet a range of needs. Some of the options include:
- Rigid corneal lenses. Rigid corneal contact lenses (also known as rigid gas permeable lenses or RGP lenses) are made from durable, more rigid materials that provide incredibly clear, crisp vision. RGP lenses tend to be smaller than disposable soft lenses, generally covering only about 70-80% of the cornea. They are also designed to last longer than soft lenses. However, this means that it’s essential to follow care instructions and keep them clean. Some people may also find that it takes a little longer to adapt to wearing these lenses than soft lenses.
- Hybrid lenses. Hybrid contact lenses combine the best of both worlds: the comfort of soft lenses with the crystal-clear vision of RGP lenses. These contact lenses feature a rigid center surrounded by a soft skirt that sits on the sclera (the white part of the eye). The advantages of hybrid lenses are particularly apparent in people with corneal irregularities because the rigid portion of the lens corrects the shape of the cornea, producing clearer vision. Hybrid lenses also allow for good tear flow and oxygen transmission.
- Scleral lenses. Scleral contact lenses are made with the same materials as RGP lenses, but they are larger in diameter. These lenses are designed to vault entirely over the cornea and rest on only the sclera. The sclera supports the lens and allows it to vault over the cornea without making contact with this sensitive area. The space between the lens and the cornea is important because it not only neutralizes irregular astigmatism emanating from an irregular cornea but also provides a tear reservoir keeping the eyes hydrated and protected.
If you have questions about which contact lenses are right for you, we can help. We offer a large variety of lens options, including soft contact lenses, scleral lenses, cosmetic lenses, orthokeratology lenses, hybrid and RGP lenses, and more. We’ll be happy to schedule a consultation and eye exam where we can assess your eye health, vision, lifestyle, and other factors to help determine the best option for you. Contact us today to learn more.
A Testimonial From Kyle, A patient of the Weston Contact Lens Institute
Dr. Kramer made the entire process of getting scleral contact lenses fast and stress free. Her and her staff were nothing short of amazing. If you have keratoconus, SEE HER. You will not regret it one bit.