Daily Disposable Contact Lenses
25 years ago, Acuvue was launched as the first disposable soft contact lens. Prior to the Acuvue product, all soft contact lenses were meant to be kept for a year. The concept of a lens that could be thrown away every 2 weeks seemed absurd to most eye doctors at the time. They figured that patients would never pay for the convenience of lenses that didn't require a year's worth of maintenance. Flash forward to 2012, and about 99% of soft contact lenses (at least in our practice) are some form of disposable lens. Some lenses are meant to be kept around for as long as 3 months, but the vast majority are monthly disposable, 2 week disposable, and on a meteoric rise are daily disposable contact lenses.
Daily disposable (or single-use) contact lenses have a number of benefits for our patients. First and most obvious is convenience. Every day you wake up, put on a fresh lens, and at the end of the day you take the lens out and throw it away. You don't have to worry about clean cases, fresh solution, or keeping track of how many times you've worn the contact lens. This makes daily disposable lenses extremely convenient for occasional contact lens wearers that are never quite sure how many times they've worn a lens or how long the lens has been sitting in its solution. And parents...daily disposable lenses are becoming the first option for our pre-teen and teenage contact lens patients. If they are simply throwing the lens away at the end of the day, you do not have to worry about them reusing solution, not keeping their cases clean, and not throwing the lenses away on time.
This leads me to the next major benefit of daily disposable lenses, and that is that they are simply a healthier contact lens option. Multiple studies have shown that there are lower contact lens associated complications, such as infection and inflammation, with daily disposable lenses. And for you allergy sufferers out there, a daily disposable lens minimizes the amount of allergens that can adhere to the surface of the lens and cause itching, watering, and general discomfort.
Which leads me to the third major benefit of daily disposable contact lenses, and that is comfort. Not only do allergy sufferers benefit from a fresh lens every day, but almost ALL contact lens wearers feel that the first day that they wear a lens is the most comfortable day. Well...with daily disposable lenses, every day is the first day. Getting a bit more scientific for those that are interested, there are proteins and lipids (fats) dispersed throughout our tear film. The proteins and lipids adhere to the surface of a contact lens over time and eventually they become allergens as well. This happens at different rates for different patients, but eventually the eye will negatively react to the build-up on the lens surface and become irritated and inflamed. This is why a contact lens becomes less comfortable over time, and why wearing a contact lens beyond its designated time (1 day, 2 weeks, or 1 month) increases the risk of complications related to the contact lens.
|Deposits on lens surface|
Our primary daily disposable contact lenses of choice are the Acuvue products. 1 Day Acuvue Moist is a healthy, comfortable, affordable daily disposable lens that will fit most patients. For our dry eye patients and for those with higher prescriptions that require more oxygen transmissibility, TruEye is a lens that provides premium moisture retention in a very oxygen permeable material. And as of last month, our patients with astigmatism can finally join the daily disposable family thanks to the release of 1 Day Acuvue Moist for Astigmatism! This lens provides the superior vision of a toric (or astigmatism correcting) contact lens with the comfort, convenience, and health of a daily disposable lens. And Acuvue daily disposable lenses are the ONLY daily disposables available with UV protection!
The concern for our patients when it comes to daily disposable lenses has always been cost. But once you consider the fact that you're saving over $100 a year by NOT buying solution, you can switch from our most commonly prescribed 2 week reusable lens to 1 Day Acuvue Moist lenses for less than 40 cents more per day! And with the rebates offered on Acuvue daily disposable products, these lenses have become more affordable than ever.
Don't be surprised if we mention the benefits of daily disposables at your next visit. Hopefully this article has provided you with a healthy dose of background information on these lenses.
And parents...here's a helpful link to provide you with more information if your child is starting to inquire about contact lenses.