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There are two basic types of contact lenses.

Soft contact lenses
The most common contact lenses are soft contact lenses. They are made of a hydrophilic or “water loving” polymer, a soft plastic material that drapes over the eye and rests on a layer of tears. The water content of soft contact lenses allows oxygen to pass through the lens, refreshing the ocular surface. The latest generation of soft contact lenses is notably more oxygen permeable, and special properties in the lens material and surface keep them moist in your eye. This increases comfort, especially late in the day, and allows for continuous wear of up to a month for those suited to such a schedule. Soft contact lenses provide crisp and stable vision, and many new wearers adapt to these lenses in an instant.

Oxygen permeable contact lenses
A second option is oxygen permeable contact lenses. These lenses are made of a rigid polymer that also rests on the eye’s layer of tears. Oxygen permeable contact lenses provide crisp and stable vision, and their enhanced permeability promotes good eye health. Some eye care professionals prescribe these lenses for patients with slight irregularities in the cornea. The rigid nature of the lens smoothes out these irregularities and improves acuity. If irregularities are pronounced, custom lenses can be generated from computer-guided lathes. Oxygen permeable contact lenses require an initial adaptation period of a few weeks.

© 2007 Contact Lens Council
 » Enjoy the freedom of contact lenses  
 » Contact lenses at a glance
 » For all ages
 » For virtually all vision needs
 » Easy to care for
 » How contact lenses work
 » Types of contact lenses
 » Designs for special vision conditions  
 » Designs for eye color
 » How contact lenses are made
 » History of contact lenses
 » How do I get contact lenses?
 » Where do I get contact lenses?
 » How do I care for contact lenses?
 » How do learn lens care?
 » Can I use makeup with contact lenses?
 » What if my eyes become red or irritated?  
 » Contact lenses are for all ages
 » From tweens to seniors
 » When are contact lenses right for you?
          • How young is too young?
          • Am I a responsible young person?
          • Are there measures of responsibility?
          • Why is proper care so vital?
          • Why wear contact lenses while young?
          • What is the expense of contact lens wear?
          • What are the risks of contact lens wear?
          • Can contact lenses improve sight?
          • What if there's no need for vision correction?  
 » Knowing and doing the right steps
 » 6 easy steps to ensure eye health
 » Why proper lens care is so important
 » Learn the proper steps from the start
 » Multipurpose solutions make lens care simple
 » To rub or not to rub?
 » Follow your recommended schedules
 » Keep your solutions pure
 » Eyes red or irritated?
 » Eye makeup and contact lenses
 » Avoid extending contact lens life
 » Silicone Hydrogel Lenses Gaining Acceptance
 » Silicone Hydrogel Lenses Instead of Laser Vision Correction?  
 » Custom Contact Lenses Redefine Optimal Eyesight
 » Contact Lenses Help Aging Eyes
 » Contact Lens Solutions Simplify Compliance
 » Comfort Drops May Offer Relief and Clearer Vision
 » Options Expanding in Daily Disposables
 » Blocking Out Harmful UV Rays