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How to choose the right contact lenses

By Vallari Shah
May 17, 2006 15:51 IST
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In Using contact lenses? Read this, we discussed the situations in which you may need lenses. Here, we tell you how to go about picking one.

The first thing you need to do is to get your eyes examined at the ophthalmologist and not an optical shop. The latter only provide eye testing services to determine the exact number.

Moreover, if there are any complications due to usage of contact lenses, the treatment can only be done by an eye specialist.

While your ophthalmologist should recommend a brand for you, here are the types available in the market.

Hard lenses

The water content in these lenses is very low and they are physically hard, as the name suggests. The use of hard lenses has drastically reduced over the years.


  • These lenses help stabilise your eye power and prevent your number from increasing.
  • The chances of infection are the least as the hydration level is very low.
  • They are easy to handle and keep clean.


  • They are not very comfortable to wear as they sometimes cause a pricking sensation.
  • They can be worn for a maximum of 10 hours a day.

Semi-soft lenses

These lenses have more water content than hard lenses. Like hard lenses, their usage too has fallen tremendously.


  • They help stabilise your eye power.
  • They are more comfortable to wear as compared to hard lenses because the water content is more.
  • They can be worn for 12 hours at a stretch.


  • Chances of infection are higher as the water content is more.
  • Special care needs to be taken regarding hygiene.
  • They may slip out in extreme weather conditions.

Soft lenses

These are the most popular. The hydration level is more in soft lenses, hence they can be worn for a longer period of time.


  • They are more comfortable to wear.
  • They can be worn for 14 hours at a stretch.
  • They are extremely convenient for sportsmen, actors, airhostesses and pilots.


  • Utmost hygiene needs to be maintained while using them.
  • The chances for infection in these lenses is the highest.

There are various types of soft lenses available in the market such as yearly, monthly, and now even daily disposable ones. These use-and-throw lenses are more convenient and safer to handle than the rest. They increase the tolerance of the eyes to the lenses, the hygiene level can be maintained easily and chances of infection are less.

A pair of soft lenses that can be worn for a year is Rs 900 upwards, depending upon the power value, the brand and the type of lens.

A year's supply of monthly disposable lenses costs around Rs 2,600 a pair, while daily disposable ones cost around Rs 90 a pair.

Bausch & Lomb, CIBA and Johnson and Johnson are the preferred brands.

Bandaged lenses

This category of lenses is used in the treatment of certain eye disorders.

These are highly hydrated lenses through which even medication can be given.

These lenses are provided only by prescription as they are used only in abnormal eye conditions.

Are cosmetic lenses harmful?

Finally, let's talk about the fairly popular cosmetic lenses, commonly known as coloured lenses. They are safe to wear occasionally for about two to four hours.

Do ensure they are of international quality. The exact power value can be incorporated in the centre of the coloured lens.

However, cylindrical lenses are not available in a coloured format.

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Vallari Shah