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Contact lenses

The technology and materials used to create contact lenses has advanced to the point that almost anyone without 20/20 vision can wear them to improve their vision. In fact, roughly one in five people in the U.S. who need vision correction for farsightedness (difficulty seeing up close), nearsightedness (difficulty seeing far away), and astigmatism wear them now.

Main Types of Contact Lenses
There are three main types of contact lenses: hard lenses, soft lenses and GP (gas/oxygen permeable). Hard lenses are made from a material called Plexiglass or Lucite, and are only used for rare vision ailments. Soft lenses are the most common and are made from a gel-like plastic that is cut so it's slightly larger than the iris. GP lenses are made from a waterless plastic material and are normally used for people who suffer from presbyopia, a reduced capacity for the eye to focus on objects as they move closer, or severe astigmatism.

The design and shape of the contact lens is what allows them to properly focus light back to your retina and improve your vision. Some of the most common designs for contact lenses include:

  • Spherical - rounded contact lenses that correct farsightedness and nearsightedness.
  • Bifocal - contact lenses that have different zones on them (like bifocal glasses), so wearers can see both near and far depending on where they are looking.
  • Corneal Reshaping - contact lenses designed to reshape your cornea while you sleep to help correct nearsightedness.
  • Toric - contact lenses used to correct astigmatism as well as farsightedness and nearsightedness.
Contact Lens Brands There are a number of companies that manufacture contact lenses. Some of the most popular brands include Cooper Vision, Biomedics, Focus, Freshlook, Soflens and Acuvue contact lenses. After your doctor recommends the best brand for you, you can buy the contact lenses through our eye care provider or you can buy your contact lenses through a variety of websites online. Many websites offer discount contact lenses, so it does pay to shop around a bit before you place an order.

Other Vision Correction Aids If contact lenses will not work for you because you have a vision ailment like glaucoma, macular degeneration or diabetic retinopathy, there are many other low vision aids that can assist you. Some of these include magnifiers, low vision reading glasses, telescopic glasses and electronic aids.

To learn more about contact lenses and how they can improve your daily vision, you should make an appointment with your eye care professional today.

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