What Are Contacts Made Of?

What Are Contacts Made Of?

Contact lenses are small, thin, curved disks that are placed directly on the surface of the eye. They can be made from a variety of materials, including:

  • Hard (rigid gas permeable) lenses: These are made from a type of plastic called silicone acrylate, which allows oxygen to pass through to the cornea. They are less flexible than soft lenses, but they tend to provide sharper vision and last longer.
  • Soft lenses: These are made from a type of plastic called hydrogel, which allows oxygen to pass through to the cornea. They are more flexible than hard lenses and conform to the shape of the eye more easily. They are available in different materials, such as silicone hydrogel that allows more oxygen to pass through, which is beneficial for people who wear contact lenses for long hours.
  • Hybrid lenses: These are combination of hard and soft lenses, and have a rigid center that provides sharper vision, with a soft skirt that conforms to the shape of the eye.
  • Piggyback or dual-layer lenses: These are two lenses worn together, where one lens is worn in front of the other. The front lens is a soft lens and the back lens is a GP lens.

All contact lenses, regardless of the material, need proper care and handling and need to be replaced on a regular basis as recommended by your Eye Doctor. It is important to follow the instructions of your eye care professional and to maintain good hygiene when handling and caring for your contact lenses.

Are Contacts Biodegradable?

Not all contact lenses are biodegradable. Traditional contact lenses, which are made from plastic materials, do not biodegrade in the environment. These lenses can take hundreds of years to break down in landfills, and if they are not disposed of properly, they can end up in oceans and other bodies of water, where they can harm marine life.

However, there are newer biodegradable contact lenses that are made from materials that can break down more quickly in the environment. These include lenses made from biopolymers, such as cellulose or collagen, which can break down within a few months to a few years. These biodegradable lenses are not widely available yet and are still in the development stage.

It is important to properly dispose of contact lenses, whether they are biodegradable or not, by following the instructions of your eye care professional. Some contact lens companies have a recycling program that you can use to dispose of your contact lenses, alternatively, you can drop them off at a recycling center that accepts plastic waste.

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