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Disposable Soft Contact Lenses

The majority of the contact lenses worn today are known as “soft contact lenses.” These lenses are made from soft, gel-like plastics that are thin and pliable. Also known as disposable contacts, these are meant to be worn during the day for a specified period of time and then discarded.

Disposable Contacts

History of Soft Contact Lenses

The introduction of soft contact lenses came in 1971. Since they were made out of hydrogel, they were instantly more comfortable than the only other alternative—hard contacts. Hard contacts were made out of polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), a rigid plastic material. These still exist today, but have mostly been replaced with rigid gas permeable (RGP) lenses. Soft, hydrogel contact lenses are still frequently used today.

Hydrogel vs. Silicone Hydrogel

After the invention of hydrogel lenses, silicone hydrogel contacts came out 31 years later in 2002. Silicone hydrogel contact lenses are the latest material for soft contacts. Silicone is a gel-like consistency that is flexible, breathable, and altogether more comfortable compared to other lens materials. Because of their higher oxygen permeability, your eyes will be less dry and at a lower risk of infection. Silicone hydrogel lenses are now the most popular type of contact lens.

Disposable Contacts Wear Schedules

Daily contact lenses are meant to be worn for one day. Instead of cleaning the lenses at night, you throw them away and open a fresh pack in the morning.
Weekly contact lenses are worn for either one to two weeks, depending on your doctor’s recommendation. They’re removed nightly for cleaning and storage.
Monthly contact lenses are typically worn for 30 days and removed nightly for cleaning.
There are a select few lenses labeled as “extended wear.” These can be worn continuously—day and night—for up to a week, or even a month.

Types of Disposable Contacts Lens Design

  • Spherical Contact Lens: Spherical lenses have the same power throughout the entire lens.
  • Multifocal Contact Lens: These lenses have both nearsighted and farsighted prescriptions blended together in one lens. These can also be referred to as presbyopia contacts.
  • Toric Contact Lens: Toric lenses correct astigmatism.
  • Colored Contact Lens: Colored contacts correct your vision while also changing the appearance of your eye color.

New Technologies in Soft Contacts

A lot has changed with soft contacts since the 70s. Advancements in technology has allowed brands to update their lenses with new improvements for comfort, convenience, and more.


Dailies Colors

Dailies is finally giving people with sensitive eyes the ability to change their eye color. They have introduced the first daily colored contact lens.

ACUVUE OASYS with Transitions™

Acuvue Oasys Transitions

Acuvue is blazing trails with the first ever light-adaptive contact lens. ACUVUE OASYS with Transitions™ offers the highest level of UV protection as it seamlessly adapts to changing light conditions.

Bausch + Lomb ULTRA Multifocal for Astigmatism

Bausch + Lomb ULTRA Multifocal for Astigmatism

Bausch + Lomb has combined the technologies of multifocal lenses and toric lenses into one. Now, people with presbyopia and astigmatism have a lens option that doesn’t need to be custom ordered.