The two main forms of contact lenses are rigid gas permeable lenses and soft lenses.
There are several different types of soft contact lenses.
Soft lenses vary in the number of days they may be worn before replacement.
An annual eye examination and a prescription from a licensed eye care professional are required to purchase corrective contact lenses.
A contact lens floats on the cornea of the eye.
Contact lens move as the eye moves to provide eyesight throughout the visual field, an advantage not possible with eyeglasses.
They require care to keep the eyes healthy and prevent infections or corneal damage.
Rigid gas permeable (RGP) contact lenses are strong and soft contact lenses are the types most commonly used for vision correction.
RGP lenses can last for years, although many find them less comfortable than soft lenses.
RGP lens wearing time must be slowly built up to avoid corneal damage.
RGP lenses must be cleaned daily using concentrated cleaning solution to remove oil and protein deposits, and they should be soaked in a disinfecting storage solution when not in use.
RGP lens is inserted into the eye with a cushioning wetting solution enhancing comfort.
Soft contact lenses, are disposable.
Soft contact lenses are more fragile and require different cleaning, disinfecting, and wetting methods than RPG lenses.
Soft contact lenses have wearing periods and lifetimes.
Daily disposable soft lenses are worn for 1 day and then discarded.
Soft lenses that are designed for more extended wear, are cleaned daily and disinfected prior to being worn the next day.
These lenses are approved for daily wear for up to 30 days..
Certain extended-wear contact lenses are approved for continuous wear for up to 30 days, with at least one 24-hour break from contacts between periods of wear.
Before contact lenses are handled, the hands should be washed with a nonmoisturizing soap and rinsed thoroughly.
Contact lens solutions for cleaning, disinfecting, and wetting contact lenses, varying according to the type of lens and its cleaning and storage requirements.
Fresh solution should be used to clean, disinfect, and store lenses.
Fresh solution should never be added to previously used solution in a storage case.
Contact lenses should not be cleaned or inserted into the eye using tap water, distilled or bottled water, pond or lake water, or saliva.
Contacts should never be uncomfortable or cause symptoms such as redness, pain, itching, or tearing.
If a contact lens causes redness, pain, itching, or are uncomfortable to wear they should be removed and care sought.