What Variations of Contacts Are There & What Are Their Benefits?

There are a plethora of different types of contact lenses available on the market today. Before making the decision to commit to a new type of contact lens, it is important to know some specifics about what the different variations do and what the potential benefits are for switching. In this month’s blog post we will discuss the more popular variations of contact lenses, how they function, and what the benefits of them are.

One of the most popular variations of contact lenses is the disposable soft gel lens. These lenses are often available in daily, weekly, monthly, or even annually replaceable models. Soft gel lenses are typically more comfortable than hard plastic lenses and allow for more water and oxygen to pass through the lens, which allows for the eye to stay moisturized.

Toric lenses for astigmatisms are made from the same materials as regular contact lenses but have a few extra characteristics. They correct for both spherical and cylindrical aberration and some have a specific ‘top’ and ‘bottom’, as they are not symmetrical around their center and must not be rotated. Lenses must be designed to maintain their orientation regardless of eye movement in order to maintain the astigmatism correction. These lenses are often thicker at the bottom and this thicker zone is pushed down by the upper eyelid during blinking to allow the lens to rotate into the correct position (with this thicker zone at the 6 o’clock position on the eye). Toric lenses are usually marked with tiny striations to assist their fitting.

Bifocal and multi-focal have multiple zones of different corrections on a single lens, typically distance correction in the center and near-sight in the periphery. Bifocal contacts are intended for individuals with presbyopia. These lenses can provide two or more corrections that gradually shift throughout the contact to provide corrective refraction for aging eyes, both alone and in conjunction with additional disorders.

Monovision contact lenses are typically utilized to correct the vision of individuals who have a different prescription for each eye. The lenses are prescribed so that one eye is set to see far away, and the other is set to see close up and is used in patients with presbyopia. In time, the eyes and brain adjust to provide one clear field of vision.


Gordon Optical has been proudly serving the communities of Lexington and Concord since 1935. Our teams of licensed opticians pride themselves on their dedication to the field and to their patients and customers. If you’re in need of Optometry services prior to selecting new frames, visit our affiliated Optometrist conveniently located next door to our Lexington location Gordon Eye Associates

 For more information, contact:

Gordon Optical
Two Convenient Locations:
Lexington & Concord