Contact Lenses

Contact Lenses

Contact lenses are a fantastic alternative to glasses, particularly for activities such as sport and for people who simply don't like wearing glasses.

With recent advances in design technology, contact lenses are now more comfortable, easier to care for and are more affordable.

For some eye conditions, contact lenses are integral in achieving good quality vision.

There are many different types of contact lenses on the market and you may be unsure what type of lens is appropriate for your eyes. The professional Optometrists at Smart Eyes can help you choose a contact lens system that is suited specifically to you.
Call us now on (02) 4943 0060 to discuss your suitability for contact lenses, or

Extended Wear Contact Lenses

Extended wear soft contacts are very comfortable to wear and offer flexibility in the way you choose to wear your contacts. When choosing soft contacts you have the option of daily wear contacts (contacts you remove before sleeping) or extended wear contacts (contacts you can wear overnight). Extended wear contact lenses can be worn for longer periods of time than other types of contact lenses because they let more oxygen to pass through the lens to the eye's cornea.

Contact lenses are either made as a daily wear lens or an extended wear lens, and receive approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a specific type of use. Some are approved for daily wear and some are approved for extended wear. When lenses are approved for extended wear, most of them receive FDA approval which states that they can be worn for up to seven days without removal. There has also recently been two brands that have received FDA approval for up to 30 days of continuous wear.

Disposable Contact Lenses

There are many benefits of disposable contact lenses, however when they were first introduced to the market in 1987 they were very expensive and not a great option for all contact wearers. However, things have changed and now all of the benefits of disposable contact lenses are included with a significantly more affordable option. Also, today disposable contact lenses make up the majority of the market and it seems as if everyone is wearing them! The reason is because disposable contact lenses are healthy, easy, and now they are affordable.


There are a wide variety of contact lenses, so it is important for you to be able to distinguish between disposable contact lenses and the other types. Basically, disposable contact lenses are contacts that you buy, use, and then throw away. There are some two week disposable contact lenses and then there are dailies as well, so the convenience level and affordability of the different options will help you make the best decision. Then, there are also frequent replacement lenses. These lenses are replaced every couple of months or even sooner, but they are not as convenient as disposable contact lenses despite the fact they are often grouped with disposable contact lenses. Other contact lenses are reusable or long term because they are replaced every six months to a year.

RGP Contact Lenses

Gas permeable contact lenses are small, curved pieces of durable, slightly flexible plastic shaped to fit your eyes. They float on the tear film in front of the cornea (the clear outer layer on the front of the eyeball). Contact lenses work the same way that glasses do to improve your vision.

The plastic used for gas permeable lenses allows oxygen to reach the cornea. The original hard contact lenses, which were made of a plastic that did not allow oxygen to reach the cornea, are rarely prescribed today. Although gas permeable lenses are not the same as the hard lenses of the past, people sometimes still refer to gas permeable lenses as "hard" or "rigid" lenses. This is because they are harder and more durable than soft contact lenses. 

Because of improvements in materials used to make them, gas permeable lenses have several advantages over soft lenses and are being prescribed more frequently.

Gas permeable contact lenses correct most of the vision problems for which glasses are prescribed. Gas permeable lenses have the following advantages over soft lenses:
  • They often correct vision better than soft lenses do, especially for people with severe astigmatism or irregular corneas.
  • Allergic and toxic reactions to lens care solutions are less frequent. Unlike soft lenses, gas permeable lenses do not absorb liquids.
  • Gas permeable contact lenses are easier to clean than soft contacts.

Gas permeable lenses are less expensive than soft lenses because:
  • They last longer because they are more durable.
  • They can be polished and reground when scratched or outgrown.
  • The materials used to make them are less expensive.
  • Gas permeable lenses require fewer cleaning solutions than soft lenses do.
The main reason gas permeable contacts are not more widely used is that many people need a break-in period to achieve a comfortable fit.
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