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What are the Two Types of Soft Contact Lenses?

Soft contact lenses are probably the most common type of contact lenses that people wear. They are considered to be a crowd favorite because of their flexibility and durability. Aside from that, soft contact lenses are also offered in different colors with or without any vision correction that can be obtained whether or not you have a prescription from your eye doctor. Soft contact lenses are the easiest way to change and transform your old look to a brand new look.

What many of us may not know is that there are 2 types of soft contact lenses - the hydrophobic and hydrophilic soft contact lenses.

About Soft Contact Lenses

First and foremost, let us learn a brief description of what soft contact lenses are. Soft contact lenses are a type of contact lens that easily fits and adjusts to your eyes because it has very high water content. These contact lenses curve comfortably to the eyes for you not to experience any problems. Whenever they are inserted to the eyes, they become very soft and pliant allowing for an easy and pain free contact lens wear time. In addition to that, because soft contact lenses transmit more oxygen as compared to other contact lenses, there are lesser chances of accumulating build-ups from dusts, grease, oils, bacteria and fungi. Soft contact lenses are popularly used and are known for improving one's vision problems.

The 2 Categories of Soft Contact Lenses

Hydrophobic soft contact lenses

  • The first class of soft contact lenses are the hydrophobic contact lenses. These contact lenses are not the most practical contact lenses that you can put on because they are made of hard materials. Hydrophobic soft contact lenses also tend to stick to the eye making them very difficult to remove afterwards. Furthermore, with hydrophobic contact lenses, water content is very low which makes them not suitable for the eyes as this will eventually lead to drying of your eyes. Most hydrophobic soft contact lenses have a water content of less than 10%, a very low percentage as compared to other contact lenses.
  • Materials that are consisted of dimefocon A, cabufocon A and amefocon A are examples of hydrophobic contact lenses.
  • At present time, the use of hydrophobic types of soft contact lenses has been discontinued.

Hydrophilic soft contact lenses

  • The second class of soft contact lenses are the hydrophilic contact lenses. They are also known as "water-loving contact lenses". Hydrophilic soft contact lenses are made of soft, synthetic materials that allows gas molecules plus water molecules to pass throughout the contact lens making them very flexible and easy to handle. It absorbs water in order for your eyes to stay fresh and moist all day long.
  • Almost all soft contact lenses are made from hydrophilic materials which are very much gas permeable. Contact lenses made from hydrophilic materials have more percent of water content - 10% to 74%. Materials that consist of alphabilcon A, abafilcon A and etafilcon A are some examples of hydrophilic contact lenses.
  • Contact lenses that are hydrophilic are softer and gentler to the eyes than hydrophobic soft contact lenses. The main reason why they are in demand is because of the quality it offers, they present immense comfort and your eyes can almost instantly adapt and adjust to them.
  • Hydrophilic soft contact lenses are divided into 2 sub-groups: the disposable soft contact lenses and classic soft contact lenses.
    • Disposable soft contact lenses - the most convenient type of contact lenses. You can wear them for a day the throw them out the next day. No need to clean and disinfect them. There are likely lesser probabilities of having cornea and eye complications as well. Disposable soft contact lenses are recommended for people who are always on the go and for busy people. A better crisp and vivid vision is experienced with these lenses because each day means a new and clean pair of contact lens. They are made of thinner lenses unlike classic or long-time wear contact lenses.
    • Classic soft contact lenses - these are hydrophilic soft contact lenses that have lenses specifically made to have thicker lenses than disposable contact lenses that needs to be taken care of to avoid any clogging of grimes and germs which means that regular cleaning and disinfecting are necessary. Classic contact lenses can also be identified as extended wear contact lenses since it has a life span that can last from 1 to 2 years.


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