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Types of contact lenses

A close-up of a contact lens balancing on the end of an index finger

Rigid contact lenses

These used to be called "hard" lenses but are now know as "gas permeable lenses" because they let oxygen gas through them. They are made of silicone and CAB polymer. These are the commonest ones that people start with. There is little risk of infection or allergy, though they may take a bit of time to get used to! They are not as good as the soft lenses for contact sports like rugby and football as they tend to move around in the eye more.

Soft contact lenses

Which are made of hema, methylacrylate, or vinyl pyrolidone. They are easy to get used to, easy to fit, and very good for contact sports. These can be 'disposable' so that you wear a new set everyday, so you don't have to worry about cleaning them, and you can keep them in for longer. They can be used anywhere from a single day to a month, but they MUST NOT be left in overnight, because this can cause an infection. If you have dry eyes, you probably won't be able to use this type. Soft contact lenses are more expensive, you are more likely to become allergic to them and you are more likely to get infections of the eyes with them.


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