Silicone hydrogel contact lenses are the latest in contact lens technology. Are they the right choice for you? Those who wear contact lenses on a daily basis know how important they are for everyday life. They help you work, study, drive, cook and do everything else in between as you navigate your day. When choosing a product that is so essential, you want to make sure of two things: they are comfortable and they’re actually good for your eyes.
It’s been 130 years since the contact lens was produced and since then, it has forever altered the quality of life for those with vision impairments. A lot has changed since the original glass model, but if you’ve ever had red, itchy and dry eyes from a day spent wearing soft contact lenses (known as hypoxia), you know they still aren’t perfect. Today, the newest form of contact lens to hit the market are silicone hydrogel contact lenses and they’re worth learning about.
So, what’s the difference between silicone hydrogel and regular soft lenses? What is the new standard?
Often referred to as a “healthier” contact lens option, silicone hydrogel contact lenses are far more breathable than other soft lenses. The difference lies in the material. Silicone is another flexible form of plastic that feels similar to hydrogel lenses, but behaves differently both inside the eye and out. While the contact lens is in your eye, the material allows a greater amount (up to five times as much) of oxygen to pass through the lens to the cornea. Increased oxygen flow equals healthier eyes with a lower risk of infection. This means a reduced chance of developing the symptoms of hypoxia, especially if you wear your lenses for a long period of time. After all, your eyes are organs and all of the body’s organs need oxygen for continued wellness. These silicone hydrogel contact lenses are said to collect fewer deposits on them which can irritate eyes and also lead to infection.
Like hydrogel lenses, silicone hydrogel contact lenses do need to be kept moist in order to maintain their shape, but should your pair dry out from lack of solution, soaking it will eventually bring it back to a usable form. As always, keeping them clean and using a fresh pair when recommended by your optometrist is the best way to make sure they work their best and your eyes stay safe. Most pairs can be worn up to 30 days (depending on the manufacturer).
Interested in trying silicone hydrogel lenses? If you’re a contact lens wearer, be sure to visit the HealthyTOKYO Shop to check them out for yourself!
For any and all ophthalmological inquiries you may have, Kato Eye Clinic in Shibuya is available for English consultations.
A guide to buying contact lenses in Japan
The foremost English speaking Ophthalmologist and eye care specialist in Shibuya