Contact Lens types

lens on finger

There are two main types of contact lenses:

  • Soft lenses which mould to the shape of your eye
  • Rigid gas permeable lenses (RGP lenses) which are fitted closely to the shape of your eye and are less flexible.

The vast majority of contact lenses fitted in the UK are soft lenses. They are available as single-use daily, fortnightly and monthly disposable lenses, and more specialist lenses that are designed to last for longer. RGP lenses last longer than soft lenses and are usually replaced every one to two years. This means that they may be cheaper in the long term than disposable soft lenses. Like a fitted leather shoe, RGP lenses can take a little more getting used to than soft lenses, and so are not suitable if you only want to wear lenses occasionally.

If you wear any reusable lens, you will need to use special solutions to clean and disinfect them so that they are safe to put back into your eyes. You do not need to clean or disinfect single use daily disposable lenses – you just throw them away after use.

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