A Guide to Different Contact Lenses

Contacts Hendersonville, TN

Contact lenses are viable options for people who have vision problems but don’t want to wear glasses. Like eyeglasses, contact lenses come in a variety of styles and colors. However, understanding the different types of contact lenses available can be difficult. Take an active role in your eye health by educating yourself about contact lens options before meeting with your optometrist.

Contact lenses are available in soft and hard styles. Soft lenses are the most popular among contact wearers due to their comfort and shorter adaptability time, and they can fix a vast majority of optical problems. Hard lenses, however, require a longer time for eyes to adapt, but allow for sharper vision and better durability.

Soft lenses can be broken down into different types based on their intended life spans. Disposable lenses are available in daily, two-week, and monthly styles. Extended-wear lenses are also available; they are made to be cleaned and used multiple times. All disposable styles are to only be worn during the day and must be taken out overnight. On average, you should replace extended-wear lenses every month. However, you can wear these lenses overnight (or in the shower) with no ill effects.

Soft lenses can correct common vision problems including:

–    Myopia: This vision problem causes short sightedness or difficulty in seeing objects at a distance.

–    Hyperopia: The opposite of myopia, this causes far sightedness or difficulty in seeing objects up close.

–    Presbyopia: This usually occurs in people older than 40; the eye’s muscles stop working as well as they used to, making it difficult to read small print.

–    Mild astigmatisms: Astigmatisms change the curvature of the eye. Soft contact lenses can correct mild cases of astigmatism, but may not work for more severe cases.


Hard lenses, also called gas-permeable or rigid gas-permeable lenses, were developed in the 1970s, and are the oldest style of contact lenses. Unlike the more-popular soft lenses, the gas-permeable lenses allow oxygen to pass through to the eye. Also, the lenses maintain their shape and usually last six months to a year before needing replacement.

In addition to the common vision problems corrected by soft lenses, hard contacts can correct more severe cases of astigmatism by helping correct and maintain the curvature of the eye. Both hard and soft contact lenses are available in bifocal and trifocal styles.

Understanding the pros and cons of each contact lens style and being better equipped to ask the right questions of your optometrist will help you make the best decision based on your vision needs.

For additional information, contact Judd Family Eyecare at 615-822-2020.