Contact lenses have come a long way and now offer some exciting options.
Today’s contact lenses are made from materials that allow oxygen to pass through the eyes readily letting the eyes “breathe” comfortably. Contact lenses are divided into two main types based on materials used. These are soft contact lenses and rigid gas permeable (RGP) contact lenses.
Soft contact lenses are made from oxygen permeable plastics. They contain between 30% and 80% water depending on the type of the lenses. Soft contact lenses are further classified into four basic categories – spherical contact lenses, contact lenses for astigmatism, contact lenses for presbyopia and color (cosmetic) contact lenses.
Spherical (Regular) contact lenses correct basic vision problems like nearsightedness and farsightedness. Acuvue spherical contact lenses include Acuvue, Acuvue Advance with Hydraclear, Acuvue 2, 1-Day Acuvue and Acuvue 2 Colors.
Contact lenses for astigmatism or toric contact lenses are designed to correct blurred vision caused by unevenly shaped corneas. Toric lenses have two powers, one for astigmatism and the other for myopia or hyperopia. They also have special mechanisms to keep contact lenses from rotating on the eyes. Acuvue Advance for Astigmatism with Hydraclear and Acuvue Toric contact lenses provide clear, stable vision and comfort all day long.
Contact lenses for presbyopia or bifocal contact lenses are created to provide clear vision to patients who have presbyopia. These contact lenses have two powers on one lens – one to correct distant vision on top of the lens and another to correct near vision at the bottom of the lens, similar to bifocal glasses wherein a line separates the powers. Acuvue Bifocal contact lenses are effective and comfortable alternatives to bifocal eyeglasses.
Color or Cosmetic contact lenses are regular spherical lenses that have special color layers within the lenses. These tinted contact lenses allow you to enhance your natural eye color or change it altogether. Cosmetic enhanced tints improve the natural eye color. Opaque tints change the color of dark eyes. Visibility tints are very pale only to make the contact lenses visible during handling. Acuvue 2 Colors contact lenses are available in ten different shades.
The other main type of contact lenses based on materials used is the rigid gas permeable (RGP) contact lenses. These contact lenses are made of special firm plastics that are oxygen permeable. They are durable with a lifespan of one to two years. RGP contact lenses fit comfortably and offer sharp vision. They are often prescribed for patients who have higher degrees of astigmatism. They are resistant to deposit build-up but may cause discomfort at first.