Contact Lenses: Hard Or Soft

More than 225 million Americans (75% of the US population) use some kind of visual aid – glasses or contact lenses. From them, around 30 million wear contact lenses – out of which 65% are women. In some cases, these individuals have found that prescription glasses can be somewhat of a nuisance to keep up with and found contacts to be much more convenient. Theses lenses are available in various forms – namely soft or hard. Its important that you know a little background on both so that you can decide which is best for you.

The Background Of Contacts

As surprising as it may be, the idea of contact lenses was first cultivated by Leonardo Di Vinci in the 1500s, however, they were not officially developed until 1970. Researchers were able to create visual aids that were both practical and affordable. GP lenses, also known as rigid gas-permeable lenses and soft lenses are the most common forms of lenses today.

Hard Lenses

Hard lenses were originally composed of glass. As time progressed, researchers developed a plastic that would be less likely to shatter. Though this plastic, known as PMMA, was less fragile than glass, they were difficult to wear because they didn’t allow for proper air flow. Today’s hard contacts, rigid gas-permeable lenses, are made up of silicon which not only makes them more flexible but also allows the eye to breathe.

Soft Lenses

Soft contacts are considered to be the most popular lenses. Many consider them to be more comfortable than rigid lenses because they have the ability to absorb more water. For new contact wearers, soft lenses also offer a quicker adjustment period than hard ones. These lenses offer a variety of different colors.

Which Is Best For You?

Both types offer several benefits. Hard contacts are unique in that they can be customized in order to fit the individual. Technician can consider the specific shape of your corneas as well as your eye curvatures. Both of these factors will help to make your vision much more crisp in comparison to the soft lenses. However, one must also consider the downside to wearing hard lenses. There are several wearers note that in order to feel comfortable, they must be broken in and this adjustment may take a while. Also, if you were to go back to wearing your glasses and then switch back to your hard contacts, your eyes will have to readjust to them once again.

Soft contacts have their pros and cons also. They are considered much easier to adapt to. This is due to the fact that they can hold up to 80% more moisture than the hard lenses. Another advantage is that soft lenses make it easier for the user to switch back and forth between contacts and prescription glasses. However, one must also consider they fact that soft lenses are disposable which means they may be more costly due to the constant investment they require. Though some consider their disposable nature to mean there is less maintenance involved.

The Verdict

Both the hard and soft lenses serve to correct astigmatisms. If you would like to invest in lenses that offer sharper vision and okay with the idea of a long adjustment period, then you should consider buying hard lenses. However, if you are more interested in comfort and don’t mind investing in disposable lenses, then you should consider soft contacts.