Types of contacts

Do you want to start wearing contacts, but you are confused as to which type of contacts will suit your eye vision needs best? Due to the major advancements in the contact lens technology, so many different types of contacts have emerged, in addition to the regular soft and hard lenses.

Classification of contact lenses

An optometrist will use the following classifications to describe the various types of contact lenses available in the market. This includes:

Wearing Period

This is the amount of time wearers will leave the contacts in their eyes. There are contacts prescribed for daily wear, which is up to 18 hours, only worn when you are awake. They should be cleaned and disinfected every time they are removed.

Other lenses are meant for extended use; you can wear them overnight or up to seven days at a time. This should be done only after a recommendation from your eye doctor.

Replacement Schedule

This indicates the interval for replacement; after how long do you need to discard your contacts for new ones? This usually depends on your specific needs.

Replacing your contacts is vital because lenses tend to attract deposits of lipids and proteins once they are inserted, which minimizes their performance and poses a great risk to your eye health.

There is planned replacement, which entails replacing your contact lenses on a frequent basis, usually daily, after one or two weeks or after one month.  This schedule is highly beneficial because you will enjoy the comfort and health benefits that come with wearing high performing contact lenses every time.

In addition, this schedule allows you to wear your lenses for daily or extended use. However, you should always remove them before you sleep.

For contacts with a conventional replacement schedule, you can replace your lenses whenever you want, as there is no predetermined schedule for replacement. Your optometrist will allow you to use your contacts, for as long as 12 months, as long as they are not damaged.

Type of Vision Correction

Contact lenses are designed to correct different eye vision problems. Spherical contacts treat myopia (nearsightedness) or hypermetropia (farsightedness), whereas Toric contacts are designed to correct astigmatism.

There are also bifocals meant to correct presbyopia condition. Another alternative to bifocal contact lenses is the monovision contacts. Your optometrist fits one eye with a distance lens and the other eye is fitted with a reading lens. About 2/3 of patients adapt to these type of lenses instead of the regular bifocal ones.


Contact lenses are not made from the same type of material. There are soft lenses (hydrophilic) and rigid gas permeable lenses.

Type of Tint

Different types of contacts come in different shades or tint.  While some lenses are tinted to enhance handling only, others are tinted to enhance your eye color. The latter are specifically designed for light colored eyes, which are usually green, blue, gray or light hazel.

Moreover, some contact lenses alter your eye color (opaque lenses), and are designed for light or dark eyes, giving you a color with a natural look.

There are also clear contacts, which have no effect on your eye color. These are called visibility tints and are very pale, with just enough color to make your contacts visible during handling.

Which type of contacts suits you best?


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