Variety of contact lenses is used to correct refractive errors. Soft Contact (hydrogel) Lenses are most often used in various types of refractive errors but they have certain disadvantages. These lenses do not permit adequate Oxygen to pass through which is essential for health of cornea and hence they can be worn for limited hours, i.e 6 to 8 hours maximum and never while sleeping. The tear proteins get deposited on these lenses which limit their life to about a year. If worn for prolonged period or proper measures not taken to clean the lenses, cornea can get an ULCER which at times can result in permanent loss of vision. Disposable daily wear lenses provide safer alternative but the cost increases significantly. Since soft contact lenses are applied after cleaning with a solution which can be the cause of mild to severe allergic conjunctivitis which can become intolerable. Soft contact lenses are not ideal in eyes with high corneal astigmatism.
Merits of soft contact lenses are that they can be dispensed over the counter or purchased on line though it is not ideal. A correct curvature and power of a contact lens is determined by a contact lens specialist/ Ophthalmologist after measuring exact corneal curvature and using trial contact lens. Another merit is that these lenses can be accepted very easily since even on the first day they do not produce much of discomfort. These lenses can be worn off and on without any inconvenience. Recent introduction of Toric Contact Lenses have made them more acceptable in cases of moderate corneal astigmatism.
Breathing Contact Lenses:
These lenses are the one which permit significant amount of oxygen to pass through and hence can be worn for prolonged interval without any adverse effect on the cornea. These are of two types
Silicon hydrogel lenses though indicated for prolonged wear but can cause mild keratitis and sometimes allergic keratitis if worn overnight. These lenses still needs lot of improvement to be free of complications
Advise: It is ideal to consult an Ophthalmologist specialized in contact lenses for fitting of a proper contact lenses. Advertised lenses some time misguide and can be damaging to the eye.