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Eye Health Library / Eyewear Solutions
Contact lenses are a viable option for active people, athletes, and those who prefer the
freedom from eyeglasses. Your doctor of optometry has the training and qualifications to
specify the proper lens material, fitting design, and care regime that will work best for your
eye condition and lifestyle. Contact lenses are generally described by their wearing period,
replacement schedule, correction style or tint.
By wearing period
By replacement period
Contact lenses are often prescribed with a specific replacement suited to your needs and
the design of the contact lenses.
Why replace lenses frequently?
Almost immediately after they are inserted, contact lenses begin attracting deposits of
proteins and lipids. Accumulated deposits, even with routine lens care, begin to erode the
performance of your contact lenses and create a situation that presents a greater risk to
your eye health. A specific replacement schedule helps to prevent problems before they
might occur. Contact lens wearers, in turn, enjoy the added comfort, convenience and
health benefits of a planned replacement program.
Planned replacement lenses generally have a higher water content or thinner center
thickness than other lenses and permit more oxygen to reach the eye. They are less protein
and lipid resistant, and need to be replaced more frequently as they become dirty more
easily. Based on a complete assessment of your needs, a prescription for planned
replacement lenses may call for replacement:
Except for daily disposables, planned replacement lenses require cleaning and disinfection
after each period of wear unless they are discarded immediately upon removal. Planned
replacement lenses can be worn as daily wear removed before sleep or as extended wear,
if recommended by your practitioner.
By type of vision correction required
Contact lenses may be identified by the type of refractive error they are designed to correct.
As an alternative to special bifocal contact lenses, many practitioners use a system called
monovision where the dominant eye is fitted with a distance lens and the non-dominant eye
with a reading lens. Approximately two-thirds of patients adapt to this type of contact lens
By type of tint or colour
Contact lenses may either be clear or tinted. Tints are used to make lenses more visible
during handling, or for therapeutic or cosmetic reasons. Tints can also enhance eye colour,
or change the eye colour altogether. Three categories of tinted contact lenses are available: