Contact lenses are a discreet way of improving vision without being tied to a pair of glasses. Many individuals choose contacts over eyeglasses because they are convenient, comfortable, and capable of correcting vision without affecting appearance. There are two classifications of contacts – soft and hard. Soft lenses are the most popular and are most commonly used to treat people with age-related vision loss, astigmatism, nearsightedness, or farsightedness. They form to the shape of the eye and tend to stay in place for the duration of wear. Hard lenses, on the other hand, can also be used to treat most vision impairments, but are less versatile and more likely to move out of place. Those who choose hard lenses typically do so in favor of the crisper and clearer vision they achieve with them.
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What do contact lenses do?
Contact lenses are small prescription lenses, worn in “contact” with the eye. Like glasses, they are meant to improve the clarity of your vision. They are designed to float on the surface of the the eye, more specifically the cornea.
Modern contacts are much more than small eye glasses that fit onto your eyes. However, they do function much like regular eye glasses—refracting and focusing light so that objects appear clearly. Since the lenses stick to the tear fluid on your eye surface, they move naturally with you. This is but one advantage contacts have over glasses.
Contact Lens Types
Types of contacts are not all the same. They are available in different forms, designed to meet different purposes. These forms can range from their “modality,” or how often you change the contacts—say, daily, every two weeks, or monthly. They also fit different needs, such as contacts for astigmatism, contacts for nearsightedness, and more.
Contact lenses come in different strengths or “diopters.” If you wear contacts, your prescription. You’ll see either plus or minus signs, followed by numbers. These convey the shape of the lenses. Different shapes correct different vision problems.
Toric lenses, which are more weighted at the bottom, help correct astigmatism. Spherical lenses, which are the same all around, help correct nearsightedness and farsightedness. There are also lenses for monovision, bifocals, and multifocals.