It is always best to know your options before you start shopping for contact lenses. Here are the different types of contact lenses available. This will help you choose, with the help of your doctor, one that fits your needs.
If you do not want to deal with the hassles of regular care and maintenance associated with contact lenses, disposable contact lenses are the way to go. These are use and throw lenses that, depending on the type of lenses, can either be used for just a day or for a week or two before being disposed off for a new one. Daily disposable lenses do not even require to be cleaned with cleaning solutions. Since these are available in various colors too, these are perfect if you need to just test out different eye-colors for a while. However, before getting one, it would be best to consult your local doctor about which type or brand of disposable lens would be best for your eye-type.
Annual soft contact lenses:
Obviously, as the name suggests, they last for a full year. Oxygen passage through the lens is necessary to prevent drying of the eyes and these lenses, made of soft material, give you just that. Unlike their disposable counterparts, these lenses demand careful and regular cleaning and proper storage. At a stretch these can be safely worn for as many as 14 hours.
Gas Permeable/ Rigid gas permeable/ Oxygen permeable contact lenses:
These lenses, often known as GPs, permit even more oxygen through them than most soft lenses. Besides being easier to clean, they are immensely advantageous in that they are long-lasting and provide very good clarity of vision. But then, it is also a fact that you would take some time getting used to wearing these lenses that are made of semi-rigid, stiff material. Some manufacturers, however, have successfully overcome this disadvantage by providing a soft outer ring for the lenses, thus allowing them to be worn comfortably.
Flexible and Extended wear contact lenses:
These lenses are so designed so that you can keep them for for a,long time, without needing to take them off at all.If you despise removing and putting back your contacts every single day, you will love these lenses. You can even sleep with these lenses on. Depending on the make of your contacts, you could either wear them for a period of 7 or upto 30 days continuously without ever taking them off. These too, will allow enough oxygen to pass through them and into your eyes, to keep you comfortable.
Torics for astigmatism:
For people having astigmatism, the inability of the cornea to properly focus an image onto the retina, you have torics. They provide the same ease of use and clarity of vision as normal contacts. These are available in both GP and soft lenses.
While the primary function of contact lenses is to correct vision problems, there are also the cosmetic lenses that also allow you alter the color of your iris. colored contact lenses come in four different varieties: visibility tints, enhancement tints, opaque color tints and light-filtering tints. Each name, I guess, is self-explanatory. The center of the colored lens has the exact power value. As long as cleaning and maintenance of these lenses is concerned, they are similar to any other contact lenses. Also, most cosmetic lenses are available without visual correction.
Contact lenses are very useful, safe and comfortable too, once you get used to them. If you are planning to buy lenses for yourself, always make sure you are well informed about your options and that the ones you buy suit your needs. Also, make sure you buy from reliable shops. There are many online shops that provide heavy discounts too. And finally, once you buy them, make sure you handle them safely and maintain them well. You and your contacts could be best friends for life!