Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Eye Health Center

Font Size

Find the Right Contact Lenses for You

Contact lenses have come a long way and offer some exciting options. You can bat a pair of baby blues one day, then flash golden tiger eyes the next. You can even toss disposable lenses in the trash each night.

For people with vision problems, contacts remain an effective, almost invisible tool. The thin plastic lenses fit over your cornea -- the clear, front part of your eye -- to correct vision problems including nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism. You can wear contacts even if you have presbyopia and need bifocals.

Recommended Related to Eye Health

Living Well With Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Amy Atcha, 47, began to suspect there was something wrong when her 72-year-old mother, Judith Arcy, wasn't able to read a menu or see the numbers on her cell phone. After a visit to the ophthalmologist, her mother's diagnosis turned out to be age-related dry macular degeneration (AMD), a chronic, degenerative eye disease that causes central vision loss. AMD "doesn't come on all of a sudden," explains David M. Kleinman, MD, MBA, associate professor of ophthalmology at the Flaum Eye Institute, University...

Read the Living Well With Age-Related Macular Degeneration article > >

Talk with your eye doctor about the best type of lenses for you, and get your regular eye exams so you not only keep your eyes healthy but also keep your contact prescription up to date.

Soft Contact Lenses

Soft contacts are made of a type of plastic combined with water. Water lets oxygen pass through the contact lens to your cornea, which increases comfort, reduces dry eyes, and helps keep your cornea healthy. If your cornea doesn’t get enough oxygen, it may swell, get cloudy, and lead to blurred vision or problems that are more serious.

Benefits. Many soft lenses are disposable, so you can throw them away after using them for a short time. Having a fresh pair of soft contacts means less chance of infection, less cleaning, and more comfort.

Some soft lenses are not disposable. You wear the same pair for about a year, cleaning them each night. These are typically more “custom” designed contact lenses.

Compared to rigid gas-permeables, the other main type of contacts, soft lenses are typically more comfortable when you first insert them into your eyes.

As a bonus, many soft lenses provide UV protection.

Disadvantages. Soft contacts more easily absorb pollutants than both hard and rigid gas-permeable lenses. They soak up all kinds of things that can irritate your eyes -- smoke and sprays in the air and lotion or soap on your hands.

Soft contact lenses are also more fragile and rip or tear more easily than hard or gas-permeable lenses.

Varieties. New types of soft lenses continue to come to market as new technologies develop.

  • Daily disposables are soft contacts that you wear only for one day and then throw away, which means you don’t have to clean them regularly or risk dry eye and irritation from contact solutions. If you have allergies, daily disposables may be the right choice for you.
  • Silicone-based materials create an extremely breathable contact lens, meaning that oxygen can pass through your lens to your cornea. This material also keeps deposits from building up, so these lenses cause less irritation from dry eyes. Some silicone contacts are FDA-approved for extended wear, so they can be worn for up to 30 days. But many eye doctors advise patients to remove any type of contact lens at bedtime. Since your cornea gets less oxygen when you sleep in your contacts, the risk of very serious complications is higher. Make sure you balance convenience with safety when deciding on contact lenses. To prevent problems, follow directions on the lenses, and see your eye doctor for regular checkups. Silicone lenses are not for everyone so talk with your eye care professional if you’re interested in them.

1 | 2 | 3

Today on WebMD

Woman holding tissue to reddened eye
Learn about causes, symptoms, and treatments.
Simple annoyance or the sign of a problem?
red eyes
Symptoms, triggers, and treatments.
blue eye with contact lens
Tips for wearing and caring.
Understanding Stye
human eye
eye exam timing
vision test
is vision correction surgery for you
high tech contacts
eye drop