Leonardo da Vinci was said to have invented the concept of the contact lens in 1508. Since the penning of his historic and innovative Codex of the eye, Manual D, the contact lens has greatly evolved and is the option of choice for corrective wear.
Developed as an option for men and women who needed visual enhancement but didn’t like to appearance or hassle associated with glasses, the original lenses were originally very hard. They also had a myriad of drawbacks, like popping off the cornea and getting lost. A version of the earlier hard contacts lens still exists today, and are now called gas permeable (GP or RGPs or rigid gas permeable). Unlike their predecessors, they allowed oxygen to pass through the lens to the eye, which makes them healthier to wear.
Unfortunately, like their predecessors, these hard contacts are still a bit uncomfortable.
Enter soft contact lenses, which were also gas permeable and far easier on the eyes. Yet and still, even among the softer lenses, some are more comfortable than others.
So, what kind of contact lens offers the highest comfort?
Disposable contact lenses
Disposable contact lenses come in single day, weekly, or monthly use. These contact lenses often offer a higher degree of comfort because and there is less of a chance of protein buildup and warping, which can feel scratchy to the eye. To date, many soft contact lens buyers say that these lenses are the best ones on the market in regards to ease of wear, however, they may not be the ultimate option for true vision correction.
Color contact lenses
Color contact lenses can be fairly easy on the eye if they are the soft variety. Although most color contacts are used to produce an aesthetic effect, ease of use is still very important. Because these contacts are most often come in the soft lens, they are generally very comfortable. Some companies even make them with a prescription in them, although the prescription may not be as strong as with plain lenses.
Gas permeable lenses
As stated before, gas permeable lenses are often harder but with the proper fitting they can be a bit healthier and easier to wear than soft contact lenses. This is due to the fact that they allow oxygen into the cornea, which is important since this delicate part of the eye needs oxygen to ‘breath’. For this reason, they are also called the ‘breathable’ contact lens.
Hybrid lenses can offer the best of both the gas permeable and disposable contact lens. These lenses are often comprised of a GP center and softer outer ring. This makes the contact lenses a bit easier to wear while giving all the benefits of gas permeable contacts. The lenses are a great option fro people who suffer from astigmatism as they may not be able to wear certain soft lenses.
All of the above contact lenses have their pros and cons, and in the end, it is really up to you to decide which type best fits your lifestyle. Some people who are very active seek soft lenses because they stay in place far easier than gas permeable. On the other hand, others have vision correction problems that soft contacts can’t fix and need to get gas permeable or hybrids.
If you are interested in getting contacts, or just want to switch to a far more accommodating brand, be sure to make an appointment with your ophthalmologist. He will be best able to tell you what would be a good fit, and knows which contact lenses have been reputed to yield the highest amount of comfort.
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