Buy Contact Lens Home      Contact Lens Articles     

Buy Contact Lenses Online
 Contact Lens Resource and Articles
One Stop for Contact Lens and Eye Contacts Online

contact: a thin curved glass or plastic lens designed to fit over the cornea in order to correct vision or to deliver medication

Contact Lens Navigation

Contact Lense Basics
Laser Eye Surgery
Soft Contact Lenses
Your Eye Surgery




Additional Resources

Improve Your Vision Today
Specs may be ancient in their origins. But more often than not, they are more popular than ever, even with recent innovations in contact lenses and vision correction surgery. Still, opting for the Read more...

Contact Lens

Below, you'll find extensive information on leading soft contact lenses articles and products to help you on your way to success.

What You Need To Know About Soft Contact Lenses
Soft contact lenses are unquestionably the most commonly prescribed available. Made of soft, flexible plastic, it is estimated that about 87% of wearers in the U.S. wear soft lenses.

Brief History

In 1971, Bausch & Lomb introduced the first commercially available soft contact lens. For years, this conventional soft daily wear lens was the only type of soft available. This lens ideally was meant to last between 6 and 12 months and required daily cleaning and weekly enzymatic treatment.

In 1981 the FDA approved the first contact lenses approved for extended or overnight wear.

It wasn’t until 1991 that the first frequent-replacement contact lenses were sold. Frequent-replacement contacts are typically replaced every 1 to 3 months. The next year, 1992, disposable contacts (disposed every 2 weeks or less) were introduced.
In less than a decade, frequent-replacement and disposable lenses became the lenses of choice for the vast majority of eye care providers. Today approximately 75% of soft patients are wearing some sort of frequent-replacement or disposable lens. Frequent-replacement and disposable contacts are available as both daily and extended wear.

Soft Options

As implied, daily wear contacts are removed and cleaned daily, while extended wear lenses can typically be worn continuously for up to 7 days (or more as CibaVision’s Focus® Night & Day® contacts have been approved for up to 30 days continuous wear).

Disposable contacts are, as the name implies, disposed on a regular period, while the non-disposable contacts are cleaned and disinfected before reinserting the contacts.

Patients who choose extended wear should be aware of the added risk of eye infections and complications that come with sleeping in contacts. I typically discourage extended wear, but will fit contacts as extended wear only after the patient understands the added risk and agrees to be seen for more frequent follow-ups. I also will use a silicone hydrogel lens material for these patients.

Types of Soft Contact Lenses Available

Soft contact lenses are available for a variety of visual corrections.

For patients with significant astigmatism, I will often use a soft toric contact lens. Toric contacts have improved greatly over the last few years. Indeed, many patients who have never been able to wear contacts due to their astigmatic prescription are now able to successfully wear contact lenses.

Soft bifocal

contacts are a relatively recent option for patients requiring a reading prescription or bifocal. Along these same lines, monovision continues to be a good option for these same patients. Monovision correction does not use a bifocal contact, but rather uses one contact for the distance vision (usually the dominant eye) and one contact for the near vision.

Soft contact lenses come as either clear or with a visibility (handling) tint. The visibility generally has no effect on eye color, but is there to help you see the lens while you’re handling it. These lenses are not the same as cosmetic soft contacts.
Cosmetic soft contacts have been popular sellers since their introduction. Now patients with or without a prescription can change the color of their eyes with colored or tinted contacts.

CibaVision’s Wild Eyes® contact lenses and CooperVision’s Crazy Lenses are novelty lenses that are fun to fit around Halloween.

Concluding Thoughts

Part of the reason for the success of soft contact lenses is the comfort these lenses offer over rigid gas permeable (RGP) contacts. As a result, they have a much shorter adaptation period. However, in some cases with soft contacts, vision may not be as sharp as with RGP contacts.

When prescribing a soft contact, my first lens of choice is CibaVision’s O2Optix™. This lens can be worn for up to one week extended wear or two weeks daily wear. For patients who may not want a disposable lens (this is very rare), I will recommend CibaVision’s Cibasoft® Visitint® standard daily wear.

For patients who experience drying with their contacts, I will often recommend contacts with newer, moisture-retaining materials. Such contact lenses include Proclear® Compatibles by CooperVision and Acuvue® Advance™ with Hydraclear by Vistakon (Johnson & Johnson). Indeed, Vistakon has recently launched the Acuvue® Oasys™ with Hydraclear, which is primarily targeted for patients who experience dryness.

Regardless of your own situation, chances are good that you will end up wearing a soft lens if you decide to try contacts Be sure to discuss with your eye care provider all the options you may have, given your prescription, age, needs, and expectations. 

Dr. Dan Irwin is a practicing optometrist in southeastern Michigan with over 16 years experience fitting contact lenses. For more valuable contact lens related information, go to




Additional Resources
Could You Be A Candidate For Lasik Eye Surgery?
Does wearing spectacles or contact lenses seem cumbersome to you? Are you considering LASIK eye surgery – one of the most prevalent and successful refractive surgery techniques? I suggest you Read more...
Additional Resources
Bifocal Contact Lenses - Improving Vision
Thick lenses with a line across them were the only option available to those who had nearsightedness and farsightedness. The frames for glasses in general were heavy and very unattractive. The Read more...

We strive to provide only quality articles, so if there is a specific topic related to contact lens that you would like us to cover, please contact us at any time.

And again, thank you to those contributing daily to our soft contact lenses website.

  Copyright 2007  - Buy Contact Lenses  -  All rights reserved soft contact lenses