Silicone hydrogel contact lenses are named after the material they are made of. Like many things, contact lenses have improved over time as people continue to develop superior technology and materials. But how exactly do different silicone hydrogels enhance contact lens quality? Let’s learn more about what silicone hydrogels are and how they create a more desirable fit.
What are silicone hydrogel contact lenses?
In the 1960s and 1970s, the development of soft contact lenses became possible with the introduction of hydrophilic polymers, large molecules with many repeating molecules (like a train with many wagons). This substance is called a “hydrophilic gel” or simply “hydrogel.
Silicone hydrogels are the latest research and development to improve oxygen permeability (improved wearing comfort, longer wear time, better eye health), wetting (more comfortable), and clinical performance of contact lenses. Silicone has higher oxygen permeability than water, so the oxygen permeability of the lens no longer needs to depend on its water content.
Types of silicone hydrogels
There are a wide variety of silicone hydrogels used today in the manufacture of contact lenses, depending on the age of their appearance. They have different technical names, such as galyfilcon, senofilcon, Comicon, and enfilcon.
Regardless of which material is used for each type of contact lens, they all require FDA approval for specific wear and replacement situations. While silicone hydrogels can often improve wearing comfort and extend wear time, it is important to check with your doctor about which contact lens is right for you.
Benefits of silicone hydrogel contact lenses
The main advantage of silicone hydrogel contact lenses is that they avoid the performance degradation that would result from trying to combine oxygen permeability and wettability at the same time. This property makes silicone hydrogel contact lenses suitable for a wide range of wear situations:
Prolonged wear (sometimes up to six days and nights of continuous wear)
Continuous wear (sometimes up to 30 days without replacement)
Enhanced comfort and wearability
How to choose a silicone hydrogel
There are many different types of silicone hydrogel materials, each suitable for different types of contact lenses to meet different vision correction and wear needs. Therefore, a thorough understanding of the benefits of silicone hydrogels will help you choose the right contact lens for you. You will need to consult with your eye doctor to select the right contact lens and evaluate the various FDA-approved contact lens fitting options and replacement intervals.
Please keep in mind that while contact lenses may be less expensive when purchased online, some contact lenses sold online may not be FDA-approved. The contact lenses you wear should be prescribed by your eye doctor and fit your eyes.
Nothing in this article is intended to be a medical guide and is not a substitute for the advice of a medical professional. If you have specific questions, please consult your ophthalmologist. To purchase contacts, you can contact Freshlady.