What are the types of contact lenses and definitions?

Contact Lenses

Contact Lenses – Necessary: When eyeglasses do not achieve the best visual potential, contact lenses may become necessary. This can be due to keratoconus, corneal trauma, or postsurgical irregularity in the corneal surface.

Contact Lenses – Elective: Many patients choose to wear contact lenses even though glasses achieve a full visual correction. This is considered an elective situation.

Contact Lens Options

Soft Contacts

  • Daily Wear: Lenses are worn during the day and removed each night to be cleaned and disinfected.
  • Extended Wear: Lenses are worn at night, but they must be removed for cleaning and disinfecting at least once a week.
  • Disposable: Lenses are worn during the day and removed at night. They don’t need to be cleaned or disinfected, but are used for the recommended time-frame and then discarded.

Rigid Contacts

  • Gas Permeable: Rigid lenses that, unlike “hard lenses” of the past, allow oxygen to pass through to the eye to keep it healthy. Gas permeable lenses provide better vision, durability, and deposit resistance than soft contact lenses.
  • Ortho-K: A type of lens used to reshape the cornea so that when removed, regular vision is improved, although the effect is temporary. These lenses are also referred to as “night time contacts.”

Specialized Contacts

  • Toric: Lenses are specially shaped and fitted to treat astigmatism.
  • Multifocal: Correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.
  • Tinted: Contacts can be tinted, either for cosmetic or therapeutic purposes. An example of a therapeutic purpose is to enhance color perception to help compensate for color blindness.