Contact lenses can be incredibly comfortable, convenient, and effective – if you use the right kind of contacts that meet your needs. Many first-time contact lens buyers are confused about the differences between hard and soft contact lenses, and are unsure of what type would be best for correcting their vision and comfortably fitting their particular eye shape. Or, perhaps your doctor has suggested you could choose which pair would fit you and your lifestyle needs best, or you’re considering a switch from one style to another.  Though technological advances have helped each kind of contact lens to become more comfortable and durable over time, each kind of lens has definite benefits and drawbacks for the wearer to consider.

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Long-Term Durability: Benefits of Hard Contact Lenses

Those who are certain that their prescription will not change rapidly over the next two or three years can consider hard contact lenses as an investment: with proper cleaning and constant care, these lenses will not be damaged and can be safely worn for a few years before needing replacement. Users should know that these hard contact lenses are very rigid in nature, but are extremely breathable and feel “light” on the eyes as they allow oxygen to breathe through their surface. Eye infections are reduced through proper use of these lenses because of this increase airflow. However, keeping these contacts in good condition will require upkeep, or proteins and bacteria may accumulate on the lenses bringing further damage to eyes that already need correction. The lenses will need to be disinfected and thoroughly washed on a nightly basis in order to keep your eyes safe.

Convenience and Comfort: Why Soft Contact Lenses Might Be Your Best Bet

Most first-time contact lens wearers are instructed to try using soft contacts first, since they are very comfortable and do not move excessively around the surface of the eye. One clear benefit of these lenses is that they mold comfortably onto the unique shape of the wearer’s eye, thus minimizing the possibility of irritation. If there is damage to the lens, these soft lenses are much less expensive to replace per pair than the hard lenses, though they should be replaced much more often than the hard lenses. In fact, many doctors recommend a monthly, if not daily, replacement of soft lenses in order to prevent protein and bacteria buildup. Those with astigmatism, which is a distortion in eyeball shape that causes blurred vision, benefit from these contacts very well as they stay close to the eyeball’s surface, no matter the imperfection in eyeball curvature.

Tints and Cosmetic Touches: Soft Contact Lenses with Aesthetic Appeal

Before purchasing your soft contact lenses, consider whether you might want to buy a pair that are tinted. Sure, it can be fun to change the color of your irises to change up your look and style, but there are additional reasons why you might consider using a tinted pair. If you are looking to compensate for complications with color perception presented by the lighting or visual needs of your working environment, or would like to enhance your vision to correct for color blindness, these tinted lenses can help to alleviate your issues without causing any eye damage. Tinted contacts can also be therapeutic if your eyes are sensitive to light, or need to be corrected for strain and overuse. Decorative and costume lenses can also be purchased for limited use, and can also correct for vision issues.

Prescription Considerations: Contacts that Meet Your Specialized Needs

After completing an eye exam, your doctor might recommend a few specialized contact lens options that meet the unique needs of your eyes. For example, hybrid lenses incorporate hard and soft lens technology within one pair of contacts, such that a soft outer ring encapsulates a hard, gas-permeable center. These lenses are best for eyes that are sensitive to hard contacts, and for those with abnormal curvatures on the surface of their eyes. Bifocal (and in some cases, multifocal) lenses are also available and work much in the way that bifocal lenses on glasses work: they can correct issues of both nearsightedness and farsightedness simultaneously.  However, these options are certainly not for everyone and require special consideration. If you’re hoping to get online contact lenses from Lenses Online, be sure that you’ve taken these specialized needs into account before purchasing a pair. A doctor or specialized professional can help you select the right style of contacts for you.

This is a guest post by Marianne Ross. She is a freelance writer on health topics.

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