Soft Contact Lenses Versus Hard Contact Lenses: What’s the Difference?

When in search of contact lenses, you will come across both hard and soft contact lenses. You may or may not understand the difference between them, but this is important as to how you wear them and care for them. They both live up to their names since the hard ones are of a rigid material, and the soft ones are of a pliable material. Let’s examine the differences closer to help you discover additional information.

Facts about Hard Contact Lenses

Hard contacts are also known as gas permeable contacts or GP lenses and were made from an acrylic glass originally, but now they are made from a plastic-like substance that may even contain silicone. They are more rigid than soft ones are but will bend ever so slightly similar to the plastic in disposable utensils. As people wear these lenses, the contacts will shift during eye movements, and this allows the eyes to receive oxygen and moisture from the natural lubrication in the eyes.

Since these lenses are so rigid in nature, it requires time for the wearer to adapt to how they feel against the eyes. Hard contacts offer superior vision correction since they hold their shape during all eye movements, including blinking. GP lenses are ideal for correcting astigmatism, do not dehydrate and simple to maintain. The disadvantages of these lenses are that they can dislodge from the proper position, accumulate dust or debris under them and will scratch easily if the wearer is not careful with them. In addition, people need to wear them all the time to become comfortable with them, and there is a higher risk of eye infection with GP lenses in comparison to soft lenses.

Information on Soft Contact Lenses

Soft contacts contain a flexible hyrdrogel, which is a water-absorbing polymer. Hydrogel uses its moisture content to provide oxygen to the eyes right through the contacts. The water content of these lenses ranges from 38 to over 68 percent depending on their brand. Since there is this high of a moisture content in the soft lenses, they stay soft and flexible during wear.

Advantages of soft contacts include how comfortable the fit is from the beginning, the user can wear them part-time and they do no dislodge easily. Soft lenses also stay in the proper positioning easier than hard ones do, which makes them ideal even for physical activities, such as sports. Dirt and debris will not become trapped under these lenses as much as with the hard ones. The disadvantages of soft contacts are that they require additional cleaning and care than the hard ones do since they absorb pollutants from the air.

Consult with an eye doctor to learn whether hard contact lenses or soft contact lenses are ideal for your eyes. The doctor is the only one who can guide you in the right direction.