The Ultimate Guide to Soft Contact Lenses

10th Jul 2024
guide to soft contact lenses

Have you ever wondered why soft contact lenses are so popular? Do you know how soft contact lenses can enhance your daily life? Some believe that contact lenses are high maintenance, yet modern lenses are easier to take care of than ever.

My name is Minh Van Tran, the Owner and Principal Optometrist at VisionPro Optometrists. With over two decades of experience, I’ve seen firsthand how the right contact lenses can transform lives. I’m passionate about helping my patients find comfortable, effective solutions for their vision needs. Whether you’re new to contacts or looking to improve your current experience, I’m here to provide expert advice and compassionate care.

Choosing the right type of contact lens can enhance your daily activities and overall quality of life. Book an appointment today to find the perfect contact lenses for your needs. Continue reading if you would like to discover how soft contact lenses can benefit your lifestyle.


  • Soft contact lenses are made from advanced, flexible plastics that allow oxygen to pass through to the eyes.
  • Daily disposable lenses are ideal for those with allergies or busy lifestyles, offering convenience and hygiene.
  • Choosing the right lenses involves assessing vision needs, considering lifestyle factors, and consulting an optometrist.
  • Proper care includes washing hands before handling lenses, using recommended cleaning solutions, and following replacement schedules.

What Are Soft Contact Lenses?

Have you ever wondered what soft contact lenses are made of and how they work to improve vision? Soft contact lenses are crafted from advanced, flexible plastics that allow oxygen to pass through to the eyes. This ensures that your eyes remain comfortable and healthy. These lenses sit comfortably on the eye, adapting to its shape and providing a natural feel that many wearers find preferable to glasses.

The high oxygen permeability of soft contact lenses is a significant benefit, helping to keep eyes free from irritation and dryness. Compared to rigid gas permeable (RGP) lenses, a.k.a. “hard contacts“, soft contact lenses offer greater initial comfort and are often easier to get used to, making them a popular choice for many.

Types of Soft Contact Lenses

When it comes to choosing soft contact lenses, there are several types to consider, each offering unique benefits depending on your lifestyle and vision needs.

Daily disposable lenses are an excellent choice for those with allergies or sensitivities, as they are designed for single-day use, eliminating the need for cleaning and reducing the risk of eye infections. Their convenience and hygiene make them ideal for people with busy lifestyles or those new to contact lens wear.

Bi-weekly disposable lenses are more cost-effective in the long run. They require proper care and maintenance, including regular cleaning with recommended solutions. By following a strict cleaning routine, you can ensure these lenses remain comfortable and effective for up to two weeks.

Monthly disposable lenses offer durability and long-term use, making them a favourite for regular contact lens wearers. Proper cleaning and storage are crucial to maintaining the quality of these lenses. It is very important to use the right cleaning solutions and store them in clean cases to avoid infections.

Extended wear lenses are designed for continuous wear, even while sleeping, for up to 30 days. They are suitable for people with demanding schedules or those who prefer not to deal with daily lens care. However, extended wear lenses come with increased risks, including higher chances of infections. Regular check-ups with your optometrist are necessary to monitor eye health and ensure safe usage.



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Benefits of Soft Contact Lenses

Why choose soft contact lenses over traditional glasses? The comfort and ease of adaptation are significant advantages. Soft lenses conform to the shape of your eye, providing a natural fit that minimizes initial discomfort. This makes them an excellent option for first-time users.

Soft contact lenses also offer improved peripheral vision, something glasses cannot match. With lenses, you gain a full field of unobstructed vision, making everyday activities like driving and sports more enjoyable and safer.

Another benefit is their versatility in correcting various vision issues. Whether you have myopia, hyperopia, or astigmatism, there are soft contact lenses designed to meet your specific needs, ensuring clear and precise vision.

soft contact lenses explained

How to Choose the Right Lenses

How do you know which soft contact lenses are right for you? Start by assessing your vision needs. Think about your daily activities and how much time you spend on tasks like reading, working on a computer, or playing sports. Your lifestyle plays a relevant role in selecting the right lenses.

If you enjoy outdoor activities or spend a lot of time on screens, you’ll need lenses that can handle these demands without causing discomfort. Daily routines and screen time significantly impact the type of lenses that will be most comfortable and effective for you.

Your optometrist can provide important guidance. Professional advice ensures that you get the right lenses tailored to your eyes and lifestyle. Regular eye exams and follow-ups help in maintaining optimal eye health and comfort with your lenses.

Proper Care and Maintenance

Do you know how to properly care for and maintain your soft contact lenses? Proper care is important for keeping your lenses clean, comfortable, and safe to wear. Let’s start with the basics of inserting and removing your lenses.

Inserting soft contact lenses might seem tricky at first, but with practice, it becomes routine. Begin by washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water. Dry them with a lint-free towel. Place the lens on the tip of your index finger, ensuring it’s not inside-out. Gently hold your upper eyelid to prevent blinking, and pull down your lower eyelid. Look up and place the lens on the lower part of your eye. Blink slowly to position the lens correctly.

Removing lenses is equally important and requires careful handling. Again, wash your hands thoroughly. Look up, pull down your lower eyelid, and use your index finger to slide the lens down to the white part of your eye. Pinch the lens gently between your thumb and index finger and remove it.

Cleaning and storing your lenses properly is non-negotiable. Use only recommended cleaning solutions; never use water or saliva, as they can introduce harmful bacteria. Rub and rinse your lenses with the solution, and store them in a clean lens case filled with fresh solution. Replace your lens case every three months to prevent contamination.

Avoid common pitfalls like sleeping with your lenses on unless they are specifically designed for extended wear. Always follow the replacement schedule prescribed by your optometrist to avoid eye infections and other complications.

To learn more about proper cleaning and storage of your soft contact lenses, watch the following video by Dr Joseph Allen from the Doctor Eye Health YouTube Channel.



Potential Issues and How to Address Them

Have you experienced any discomfort or issues with your soft contact lenses? It’s not uncommon to encounter some initial adaptation symptoms. You might feel slight discomfort or experience variability in your vision during the first few days of wearing new lenses. These symptoms usually subside as your eyes adjust.

One common issue is wearing the lens inside-out, which can cause significant discomfort. Ensure your lens forms a smooth, bowl-like shape before inserting it. Residual debris on the lens surface can also lead to irritation. Always clean your lenses thoroughly before wearing them.

Understand when you should seek help from your eye care professional. Persistent redness or pain in your eyes should not be ignored. If you experience unresolved blurred vision or any severe discomfort, consult your optometrist immediately. Professional intervention can prevent more serious complications and ensure your eyes remain healthy.

Soft Contact Lenses for Special Conditions

Which special conditions can benefit from the use of soft contact lenses? For those looking to enhance their eye colour or correct certain vision problems, soft lenses offer various specialised options.

Tinted and coloured lenses are popular for both aesthetic and therapeutic uses. These lenses can subtly or dramatically change your eye colour, enhancing your natural look or providing a striking new appearance. Additionally, they can help with specific vision issues like light sensitivity by filtering out harmful UV rays.

Multifocal lenses are a great solution for presbyopia, a condition common in people over 40 where the eye’s ability to focus on close objects diminishes. These lenses offer multiple prescriptions in one lens, allowing for clear vision at all distances. They eliminate the need for reading glasses, providing convenience and improved quality of life.

Monovision lenses are another option for presbyopia. One lens is fitted for distance vision, and the other for near vision. This approach can take some getting used to, but many find it an effective way to manage their vision without bifocals.

Paediatric contact lenses are specifically designed for children and teens. These lenses can address vision issues early on, ensuring better visual development. They are made from materials that are safe and comfortable for young eyes. Parents should consult an optometrist to determine the best type of lens for their child’s needs.

soft contact lenses for kids

Safety Tips for Lens Wearers

How can you ensure the safe use of your soft contact lenses? Always wash your hands with soap and water before handling your lenses. Use a clean, lint-free towel to dry your hands to avoid transferring debris to your lenses.

Certain activities should be avoided while wearing lenses to prevent damage or infection. For instance, swimming and water sports pose a risk as water can introduce harmful microorganisms to your lenses. Similarly, it’s best to avoid showering with your lenses on.

Managing lenses during illness requires extra caution. Wearing lenses while sick, particularly with respiratory infections, can increase the risk of eye infections. If you’re unwell, consider using glasses until you recover fully. If you need to wear lenses in a hospital setting, take special care to keep them clean and follow strict hygiene protocols.

Understanding the Fit and Comfort of Soft Contact Lenses

How do you know if your soft contact lenses fit properly and are comfortable? Well-fitting lenses should feel almost imperceptible on your eyes. If you frequently notice their presence, it might indicate a poor fit.

Signs of well-fitting lenses include consistent comfort throughout the day and stable, clear vision. Your lenses should not move excessively or cause any redness or irritation. If you experience any of these issues, it may be time to reassess the fit of your lenses.

Dealing with a poor fit involves more than just discomfort. A lens that doesn’t fit well can lead to vision problems and increase the risk of eye infections. If you suspect your lenses are not fitting correctly, schedule a visit with your optometrist. They can make professional adjustments, such as changing the lens type or size.

Soft Contact Lenses and Dry Eye Conditions

How do soft contact lenses interact with dry eye conditions? For many, dry eyes can make wearing contact lenses uncomfortable. However, understanding how these lenses affect tear production can help manage the condition effectively.

Signs of dry eye aggravation while wearing lenses include persistent dryness, discomfort, and increased redness. If you experience these symptoms, it might be time to explore different lens options or adjust your wearing habits.

Managing dry eye with soft contact lenses involves several strategies. Use lubricating eye drops specifically designed for contact lens wearers to keep your eyes hydrated. Limiting the time you wear your lenses each day can also help reduce dryness. Your optometrist can recommend the most suitable lens types and provide tips on managing dry eye symptoms effectively.


Different types of soft contact lenses, such as daily, bi-weekly, and monthly wear types can cater to diverse lifestyle needs. Regular consultations with an optometrist are vital to finding the best-fitting lenses and maintaining optimal eye health.

It’s also important to remember that ignoring proper contact lens care can lead to severe eye infections and long-term vision problems. In addition, failing to replace lenses as recommended increases the risk of eye damage and eye health problems.

Could soft contact lenses be the eyewear solution that you need?

Scheduling an eye exam appointment is the first step to improving your vision management.

Click on the “BOOK AN APPOINTMENT” button OR call either our St. Albans (03) 9364 5509 or Footscray (03) 9687 8787 optometry practices.