A Clearer Picture: Different Types of Contact Lenses, Explained

contact lens guide
Photo by Albanpix Ltd/REX/Shutterstock
Photo by Albanpix Ltd/REX/Shutterstock
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* The difference between 4 typical types of contact lenses
* Contact lens shopping demystified
* Top brands for common issues like astigmatism and presbyopia

Contact lenses have come a long way since they were only made of glass and caused serious pain after a few hours of wear. Today, wearable lenses have advanced to allow more air to reach the eye and more types of vision conditions to be corrected, such as multifocal and astigmatism needs. Production quality and speed has also increased to the point that daily disposables and long wear contacts are widely available options, in both cases meaning less lens care and more convenience.

So how to sort through all the choices? Here, find a clearer picture of the different types of contact lenses explained with our breakdown – understanding their unique differences should go a long way to making your next eye doctor appointment a clear-sighted affair.

1. Air Optix Contact Lenses

For simple (read: no astigmatism or multifocal needs), single lens vision correction, Air Optix is a great choice to enhance or change eye color. They’re also available for those just looking to make their brown eyes blue or vice versa without prescriptive needs.

Contact Lens Air Optics Colors Image Courtesy of Frames Direct


2. Air Optix for Astigmatism

Astigmatism happens when there’s either an irregular curvature of the cornea or there’s corneal scarring. In general, those with astigmatism have a cornea that’s more oblong shaped, instead of round. Where once contacts weren’t available for this eye defect, brands like Air Optix have been making lenses that can, in options from disposable, multi-focal and color-changing, help fit wearers with astigmatism.

Contact Lens Air Optyx Astigmatism Image Courtesy of Frames Direct


3. Acuvue Oasys Contact Lenses

These lenses have garnered high reviews on sites like FramesDirect, for their easy handling, comfortable wear and UV blocking abilities. A solid option for those who need contacts for regular vision correction without any specific conditions.

Contact Lens Accuvue Oasys Image Courtesy of Frames Direct


4. Proclear 1 Day Multifocal

Just like eyeglasses, contact lenses now come with bi-focal, tri-focal, and progressive options. Depending on your prescription, these lenses are made in two ways: alternating vision lenses have a split-lens design, where the separation between prescriptions is made with an obvious line between the top and bottom of the lens. Simultaneous vision lenses require the eye to look through both prescriptions at the same time, and allow the eye to select the correct prescription power. Either way, Proclear’s version means you can still have freedom from glasses, even if you’ve been diagnosed with presbyopia.

Contact Lens Pro Clear Multi Focal Image Courtesy of Frames Direct

Find the right type of contact lenses for you