Eye Care Blog

Types of Soft Contact Lenses

Man trying on contact eye lenses in optics shop

If you need your vision corrected but don’t want to permanently rely on eyeglasses or go through the invasive process of LASIK surgery, soft contact lenses are a fantastic option to consider.

Unsure about contact lenses? This article will provide information on soft contact lenses, as well as the materials and other relevant details.


Contact lenses for daily use

These are meant to be worn during the day, but taken off before bed. Many are one-use only, so you may start fresh every day. You might, alternatively, go for contacts that need to be changed less frequently, say, once every week, twice a month, or never. If you only need contacts sometimes, some eye doctors advise getting disposable daily-use lenses.

Long-term wear of contact lenses

Since these contacts raise the risk of a major eye infection, very few eye professionals suggest them. You can wear them while you sleep, but you should be closely monitored by an optometrist and discuss with your doctor to see if it’s the right option for you!

Toric contacts

To some extent, these can help astigmatics see clearly, though not as well as rigid gas permeable lenses. Toric lenses are versatile, as they can be used every day or for an extended period of time. However, the cost can be significantly more than for other soft contact lenses.


Hydrogel contact lenses

Hydrogel lenses are created from hydrogels, which are polymers that contain water and have the consistency of the gel. These lenses are extremely lightweight and flexible, allowing them to contour themselves to the surface of the eye.

Because they are more comfortable and easier to use, contact lenses gained a lot of popularity after hydrogel lenses were first introduced.

The discomfort caused by the progressive evaporation of the water in hydrogel lenses is the primary disadvantage of this type of contact lens material. Less oxygen is able to pass through the lens compared to other materials on the market, which puts your eyes at risk of infections/inflammations.

Silicone hydrogel contacts lenses

Silicone hydrogel contact lenses were developed as a result of advancements made in hydrogel polymers. It should come as no surprise that silicone hydrogel is a polymer that incorporates both hydrogel and silicone within its structure.

Silicone is a polymer that has the consistency of a gel and possesses a high degree of elasticity; as a result, it is an excellent material for contact lenses.

Like hydrogel, silicone hydrogel contains water. Silicone hydrogel, on the other hand, is more porous than hydrogel and has greater oxygen permeability than hydrogel.

Base curve of contact lens

The base curve is the lens’ back surface curve. It determines the lens’ curvature to match your eyes. It’s measured in millimeters and might be steep, medium, or flat. Base curve values range from 8.0 to 10.0 mm, but can be flatter (from 7.0mm) with a stiff gas-permeable lens. Higher base curve numbers suggest flatter corneas than lower base curve numbers, which indicate steeper corneas.

Diameter of contact lens

Diameter is the lens’s edge-to-edge breadth. In millimeters. This figure is between 13 mm and 15 mm but can be as low as 9mm for a hard gas-permeable lens. It specifies where the lens will sit in your eye.

When you wear the right-sized contact lens, it will stay in place. The wrong-sized contact lens can cause irritation and fall out.

Sphere vs Toric (astigmatism)


The most common type of contact lenses, known as spherical contact lenses, have a round shape and are used to treat myopia (nearsightedness) and hyperopia (farsightedness) (farsightedness).


Toric contact lenses are designed to treat not just myopia and hyperopia, but also astigmatism. Toric lenses are weighted and have varying levels of correction at various spots throughout the lens. Additionally, the lenses are shaped in such a way that they always assume the correct position when worn on the eye.

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