Soft hydrophilic ("water loving") contact lenses are the most popular lens of contact wearers. There are too many soft contact lenses to name, from daily to bi-weekly to monthly disposables, colored to customs, and an array of specialties covering anything from prosthetics to "cheetah eyes" for halloween!
Years ago, soft contacts were tedious to care for and often were accidentally torn when the wearer cleaned them. Disposable lenses not only have reduced the frequency of a torn lens, but also provide a better eye health solution than cleaning alone. Also, many current lens care products make maintenance much easier and safer than before.
How Often Do I Need to Replace My Lenses?
Soft contact lenses differ in the recommended replacement frequency. The main reason for replacing soft lenses is to reduce the amount of infections and/or wearing complications association with lens wear. It is difficult to keep a soft lens completely free of deposits. When the deposits begin to accumulate on (and in) the lens, visual clarity declines and the lens becomes more uncomfortable to wear. The risk of infection also increases, because oxygen cannot permeate the lens as easily as it is "blocked" by the deposits. The decrease in oxygen to the cornea can cause eye infections and/or the cornea may start to produce new blood vessels in order to combat this problem (normally, the cornea is completely avascular, meaning no blood vessel growth). The most common replacement frequency we recommend is typically every 2 weeks, but there are also daily and monthly disposable options available to you.
Astigmatic Corrective Lenses
Soft toric lenses are available for individuals needing lenses to correct astigmatism. Toric lenses are currently available in bi-weekly, monthly and quarterly replacement frequency. The toric lens options have improved in the past few years, and with more options, more individuals are successfully fitted with toric lenses.