Contact Lenses: The Difference Between Hard and Soft Lenses

For those looking to buy contact lenses the different products available are as daunting as they are varied. They can choose from daily disposables, monthly wear lenses, fortnightly contacts and even lenses that can turn your eyes from green to brown or from blue to grey! And then of course when you think it hasn’t got complicated enough, there’s the question of hard and soft lenses!

With so many choices how do you go about choosing the right contact lenses for you? In this article we try and explain the key differences between hard and soft lenses to make the right decision for you.

Hard Contact Lenses

Hard contact lenses made from a rigid material which makes them much more durable than soft lenses.
Rigid gas permeable lenses are the latest type of hard lenses to hit the market. They are made from silicone polymers which allow oxygen to flow to the cornea in order to make them more comfortable to the wearer.

These lenses can be worn on an extended basis; even whilst you are asleep! Having said this it is important to note that this can restrict the flow of oxygen to your eyes.
Furthermore, hard lenses keep their shape in a way that soft lenses are unable to do and tend to last longer and be more straightforward to look after. They also offer better sight correction for certain vision problems.

The downside to hard contact lenses is that they can take a bit of time getting used to.

Soft Contact Lenses

Soft contact lenses are formulated using of a special plastic polymer that is able to combine with water. This enables more oxygen to pass through the lens which increases the level of comfort that they offer to the wearer.

A number of soft lenses available can be discarded which is beneficial from a health perspective as it reduces the risk of infection. Of course this can also make them easier to look after because users do not have to worry about cleaning them.

The disadvantage with soft contact lenses is that they are much more fragile than hard lenses and more prone to tearing. Furthermore because they absorb soap easily they can irritate your eyes if you don’t rinse your hands carefully after washing them.