It is amazing how humans have evolved from traveling on foot to now landing on the moon and Mars, treating infections with amputation to the invention of antibiotics. The same is the case with eyesight problems, we have seen some amazing inventions from eyeglasses to hard lenses to soft lenses. The evolution train didn’t stop there as we have hydrogel and silicone hydrogel lenses. Silicone hydrogel lenses are the advanced version of soft hydrogel lenses. If you are among 140 million contact lens wearer in the world, you must have asked yourself which contact lens is better for you, hydrogel or silicone hydrogel. Both are pretty common and you can easily buy contact lenses online and from your doctor as well. Before you set out to buy contact lenses, here is a guide to help you make a better decision.
Hydrogel contact lenses:
Hydrogel contact lenses are made from soft soluble plastic material that was first invented in the 1970s. The material used is very flexible and absorbent making it a good choice for medical equipment like contact lenses, tubes, etc. These contact lenses made with a pliable material are the reason behind the popularity of contact lenses among people. They are very similar to silicone hydrogel lenses except that they don’t have silicone in their composition. Some hydrogel contact lenses might have a little concentration of silicone making them irritating for people who are sensitive to silicone.
They offer great comfort and compatibility for people with sensitive eyes. Hydrogel lenses are biocompatible lenses making them suitable for delicate eyes. They absorb large amounts of moisture making sure that your eyes don’t get dry and prevent them from scratching your eyes or causing irritation.
The main disadvantage of hydrogel lense is that they don’t allow large amounts of oxygen to reach the cornea that can be dangerous for you if you wear contact lenses for a long time. Since they can get rigid it can be a problem for fitting them on the eyes bust these issues are minor and the majority of the time you won’t have to deal with them.
Silicone hydrogel contact lenses:
Silicone hydrogel lenses are the next level lenses after the hydrogels. They are similar in material to hydrogel contact lenses but they have a small amount of silicone in their composition. These lenses are more porous and they allow a lot of oxygen to reach the cornea and help the eye breath properly. Silicone hydrogel lenses are suitable for people that wear contact lenses for longer periods of time. As they have a high concentration of pours allowing more oxygen, they dry more quickly.
Silicone hydrogel contact lenses reduce the chances of eye hypoxia due to their better oxygen permissibility. Doctors suggest to take off your contact lenses after 14-16 hours and if you want to exceed this time limit, silicone hydrogels are the answer.
Some people are silicone intolerant, they best stay away from silicone hydrogel contacts. People with sensitive and delicate eyes also stay away from them. They dry quicker than hydrogel contact lenses and tend to have more deposits as well.
When it comes to making the right choice, well honestly there is no right and wrong, you should consult your doctor and discuss your condition to find the best solution for you.