Why soft eye contacts prevent dry eyes and offer all day long comfort when using contact lenses.
Since the first mass production soft contact lenses came onto the market in 1971, millions of people have turned to wearing soft lenses for comfort versus rigid hard or gas permeable contacts.
It is estimated that 90% of all Americans now wear soft lenses for vision correction. When I started wearing contact lenses 30 years ago, my rigid gas permeable lenses had a time-consuming weekly cleaning and disinfecting routine. Even the soft eye contacts available at the time needed weekly cleaning to keep eyes free from infections.
I switched to wearing disposable soft eye contacts 18 years ago and here's why.
I originally chose to wear rigid gas permeable contacts 30 years ago as I was a little apprehensive of inserting and removing soft lenses. As soft contacts are pliable, they can turn inside out quite easily and if dropped, they can be difficult to pick up again without tearing them.
To get them out, you have to pinch out the lenses and that means touching the eyeball. Ugh! Or so I thought at the time as a new contact lens wearer.
But soft eye contacts have many advantages:
They are far easier to get used to as, unlike rigid gas permeable (RGP) contacts, you don't have to build up the wear-time over a period of weeks.
If working in an air conditioned office, they are SO much more comfortable. I used to take my RGP lenses out 4-5 times a day to relubricate them when my eyes became dry.
They are available in a variety of different colors for those who like to make a fashion statement.
There are many different options of soft contact lenses available from daily, 2-weekly and monthly disposables to extended wear, bifocal options and also soft contacts that can be worn by sufferers of astigmatism - previously people with astigmatism could not easily wear contact lenses.
I was so fed up of sore dry eyes with my RGP lenses, I enquired about soft disposable contacts and was pleased to find out that monthly disposable lenses do not need any weekly disinfection. From there it was just a case of getting used to inserting the lens the right way and taking them out by softly pinching the lens off the eye - easy....once you have practiced a few times!
How times have moved on since then. My monthly disposable soft eye contacts called Oasys have now become a 2-weekly contact lens. And if they aren't comfortable enough, you can also buy 1-Day Acuvue oasys with state of the art Hydraluxe technology and UV protection to protect delicate eyes from the sun - perfect for sporting activities here in Cyprus.
As well as those who need corrective soft contact lenses, there is now a growing market for soft contacts with zero power so that people with perfect vision can change the color of their eyes by wearing so-called plano contact lenses.
Some colored contact lenses just enhance eye color, others completely change it as they are opaque. And then there is the growing trend for scary, wacky crazy colored contact for Halloween and fancy dress parties.