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How do "hard" and "soft" contacts compare?

"Hard" contact lenses are made of a hard plastic, the same material used in Plexiglas. But they don't absorb water, which is required to help oxygen pass through the lens and into the cornea. As a result, hard lenses can cause the wearer great irritation and discomfort. In their favor is that they're relatively easy to clean, because bacteria don't stick to them very well.

"Soft" contact lenses are more pliable and easier to wear because they're made of a soft, gel-like plastic that absorbs water. This allows oxygen to reach the eye and makes the lens flexible and more comfortable. The more oxygen that gets through, the longer the lens can be worn, and the less the likelihood of irritation.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.