Soft contact lenses
- are the most commonly prescribed type of contact lenses (~ 90%)
- are comfortable to wear, easy to use and are difficult to accidentally dislodge
- correct all types of refractive errors
- can be tinted to enhance or change eye colour (novelty lenses)
- are made from flexible materials known as hydrogels, made up of part plastic and part water; or
- silicone hydrogels which include silicone which allows more oxygen to pass through the lens than traditional hydrogel lenses
- are suitable for people who are active, play sport and those who don't want to wear lenses every day
Rigid contact lenses
- can provide better vision than soft lenses for certain higher or more complex prescriptions, as the optics are better controlled
- are more durable than soft lenses and do not need to be replaced as often
- may require some adaptation initially until comfort levels are achieved
- are made from plastics that are less flexible than those used for soft lenses
- are suitable for a wider range of correction for shortsightedness, longsightedness and astigmatism.
Optometry Australia advises that contact lenses, regardless of type, tinting, power, or intended use, should only be supplied on presentation of a valid prescription.