There are two basic types of contact lenses.
Soft contact lenses
The most common contact lenses are soft contact lenses. They are made of a hydrophilic
or “water loving” polymer, a soft plastic material that drapes over the eye and rests
on a layer of tears. The water content of soft contact lenses allows oxygen to pass
through the lens, refreshing the ocular surface. The latest generation of soft contact
lenses is notably more oxygen permeable, and special properties in the lens material
and surface keep them moist in your eye. This increases comfort, especially late in
the day, and allows for continuous wear of up to a month for those suited to such a
schedule. Soft contact lenses provide crisp and stable vision, and many new wearers
adapt to these lenses in an instant.
Oxygen permeable contact lenses
A second option is oxygen permeable contact lenses. These lenses are made of a rigid
polymer that also rests on the eye’s layer of tears. Oxygen permeable contact lenses
provide crisp and stable vision, and their enhanced permeability promotes good eye health.
Some eye care professionals prescribe these lenses for patients with slight irregularities
in the cornea. The rigid nature of the lens smoothes out these irregularities and improves
acuity. If irregularities are pronounced, custom lenses can be generated from computer-guided
lathes. Oxygen permeable contact lenses require an initial adaptation period of a few weeks.