This is one of the most frequently asked questions in relation to contact lens wear and sadly there just isn't a straight forward answer to it. For the purpose of this article, we will concern ourselves with only soft contact lenses. Here are some basic factors that will determine which soft contact lenses are best suited for your eyes:
● Prescription (spherical, toric or multifocal)
● Days per week of usage (part time or full time wear)
● Hours per day of usage (short or long periods)
● Contact lens history (any previous encounters)
● Health status of the front of your eyes (corneal curvature & tear layer assessment)
● Medical history (any allergies or health problems)
This list is not exhaustive but these are a few of the basic requirements your eye care practitioner will need to know the answers to. They will then be able to advise you of the best options for your individual needs and expectations. With contact lens material technologies constantly evolving and improving, more and more people are finding they are now able to wear contact lenses. So the chances are that you will find an optimal product suitable for your eyes even if you were told you were not suitable at some stage in the past. Sometimes it's worth getting a second opinion.
Disposable lenses are hygienically better and more convenient, so from that point of view daily disposable soft contact lenses could be considered the best option. This is because they are sterile single use lenses, individually packed, you handle them once to insert, once to remove and then discard them. The risk of contamination is extremely low with this modality.
Daily disposables generally come in strips of five lenses so are perfect for when travelling as you can put a few pairs in your hand luggage. They also come with lengthy expiry dates so if you decide not to wear lenses for a few days, weeks or months, then you haven't wasted any of your supply. All in all, daily disposable lenses offer the greatest amount of flexibility to wearers.
Silicone hydrogel material soft contact lenses are clinically known to allow the highest percentage of oxygen permeability and therefore, it can be argued that they could be the best option when considering that factor. Oxygen permeability is important because the more that can pass through the contact lens; the more oxygen there is available to the front surface of the eye (the cornea) for normal healthy metabolic functioning.
With all the above said, as with all things in life, there is no one universal solution for everyone. It's all based on an individual case by case basis because everybody's eyes are uniquely different. But if we are talking in general terms, we could conclude that daily disposable silicone hydrogel soft contact lenses are a very good starting point for the majority of people considering wearing contact lenses. Always consult with an eye care practitioner when deciding on what contact lenses are best suited for you and keep up your regular aftercare checks.