Shepard and Quinton Vision Care
Contact Lenses

Contact lenses are a popular choice for people with vision correction needs.  For many, contact lenses provide flexibility and convenience.  There are several different types of lenses available for a variety of needs and preferences.  Contact lenses can be used to correct vision disorders such as Myopia (nearsightedness), Hyperopia (farsightedness), Astigmatism, and Presbyopia (poor focusing with reading material and other near vision tasks).

Types of Contact Lenses

There are two general categories of contact lenses – Soft and Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP).  All contact lenses require a valid prescription.

Soft Contact Lenses
Soft contact lenses are made of soft, flexible plastics that allow oxygen to pass through to the cornea.  Soft contact lenses tend to be initially more comfortable than Rigid Gas Permeable lenses.   Newer soft lens materials include silicone-hydrogels that provide more oxygen to your eyes while you wear your lenses.

Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP) Contact Lenses
Rigid Gas Permeable contact lenses (RGPs) are more durable and resistant to deposit buildup, and generally give clearer, crisper vision.   They tend to be less expensive over the life of the lens since they last longer than soft contact lenses.  They are easier to handle and less likely to tear.  However, they are not as comfortable initially as soft contacts and it may take a few weeks to get used to wearing RGPs, compared to several days for soft contacts.

Extended Wear Contact Lenses
Extended wear contact lenses are available for overnight or continuous wear ranging from one to six nights or up to 30 days.  Extended wear contact lenses are usually soft contact lenses.  They are made of flexible plastics that allow oxygen to pass through to the cornea.  There are also a very few Rigid Gas Permeable lenses that are designed and approved for overnight wear.  Length of continuous wear depends on lens type and your eye care professional’s evaluation of your tolerance for overnight wear.   It’s important for the eyes to have a rest without lenses for at least one night following each scheduled removal.

Planned Replacement Schedule Contact Lenses
The majority of soft contact lens wearers are prescribed some type of frequent replacement schedule.  Planned replacement schedule lenses are for frequent/planned replacement, usually either every two weeks, monthly or quarterly.   When you remove your lenses, make sure to clean and disinfect them properly before reinserting.

Disposable Contact Lenses
“Disposable,” as defined by the FDA, means used once and discarded.  With a true daily wear disposable schedule, a brand new pair of lenses is used each day.

Lens Comparison
The American Optometric Association has more detailed information about contact lenses including a lens comparison chart.

Insertion and Removal of Contacts