Soft contact lenses are lenses made of hydrophilic (water-absorbing) plastics. When these materials soak up liquids, they become soft and mold to fit the eyeball. Soft lenses can correct many vision problems. They are quite different from gas permeable lenses.
Soft contact lenses are used to correct farsightedness (you see distant objects clearly, but close objects are blurry), nearsightedness (you see close objects clearly, but distant objects are blurry), and some kinds of astigmatism (distorted vision caused by an unevenly curved cornea, which is the clear outer layer on the front of the eye).
The advantages of soft contact lenses, compared to gas permeable contact lenses, include:
The disadvantages of soft contact lenses include:
Daily-wear soft contact lenses:
Extended-wear soft contact lenses:
Disposable contact lenses:
Soft contact lenses can be made into bifocals to correct for both distance and near vision, but bifocal contacts are often difficult to get a good fit. Soft contacts can also be tinted to darken light-colored eyes or lighten dark-colored eyes.
You need to have a thorough eye exam with an eye doctor, who will:
Slight discomfort when you first start wearing contact lenses is normal. If you have any pain in your eyes, see your eye care provider. You should have checkups of your eyes and lenses 1 week, 2 weeks, 1 month, 6 months, and 1 year after you first get them. If you have any problems, you may need to go for checkups more often.
Wearing soft contact lenses may lead to:
You may find it hard to wear contact lenses if you have: