Soft Contact Lenses versus Hard
Hard versus Soft Contact Lenses
There was a time when rigid (hard) lenses were the only options.
Today however, these relics have been replaced by widely accepted, more flexible materials.
Hard contact lenses are so rarely prescribed in fact that nowadays they're practically obsolete!
Hard contact lenses
Early hard contact lenses were made out of polymethyl methacrylate or PMMA, also known as Lucite.
This material was very uncomfortable but it did allow vision correction without any distortion.
It took people a long time to get used to wearing hard contact lenses and they also required a considerable amount of maintenance.
The material used to make hard contact lenses caused other problems as well.
It was non-gas permeable meaning that it did not allow much oxygen to flow through.
Because of this, people were advised against wearing hard lenses for more than 12 hours at a time.
It's no wonder few people still wear this type of lens and even fewer vision specialists prescribe them.
Soft contact lenses
Fortunately, technological advances led to the creation of a more comfortable lens – the soft contact lens.
Soft Contacts are prescribed most often because practically anyone can wear them.
Soft contact lenses are made with water so they float more freely on the surface of the eye.
Because they're so comfortable, it's easy for people to get used to wearing them.
In addition, the lens is very porous which means that oxygen can freely pass through the lens where it can reach the Cornea.
This comfort does come at a price, but fortunately, it's a small one.
Soft lenses are not as durable as other types of lenses meaning they're more likely to tear, even when being handled under normal circumstances.
Another downside of the soft lenses is that vision isn't as sharp as it can be with other types of corrective lenses.
But even though vision might not be as crisp, it's clear enough that most people don't even notice it's lacking.
Another potential negative is that soft contacts are more susceptible to protein build-up.
Over time such build-up can distort or negatively impact vision. The build-up of protein also can cause discomfort.
For these reasons, the importance of properly caring for contact lenses cannot be stressed enough.
Luckily, as fast as the technology behind contact lenses is evolving, so too is the market for contact lens cleaning and disinfecting solutions.
In the beginning, there was a separate product for each step: cleaning, rinsing, disinfecting and storage.
Now, one product can easily handle all the steps, without needing to rub the lenses to remove protein deposits.
For those who either don't have the time or who aren't disciplined enough to properly care for their soft contact lenses, disposable contact lenses are usually the perfect solution.
These contact lenses are designed to be thrown away after a certain period of time, daily, weekly or monthly.
Since the lenses are thrown away rather than continually reused, the chances of bacterial infection and/or protein build-up are greatly reduced.
If it's a choice between hard contact lenses and soft, soft wins hands down!
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Soft Contact Lenses versus Hard to Contact Lenses