Disposable contact lenses are extremely popular these days. As an alternative to hard lenses of the past and rigid gas permeable lenses of today, they are generally considered to be far superior in comfort and wearability. They come in many different varieties, and it is important to know which is best for you. Our eye doctors will give you a comprehensive contact lens exam to find the right fit for you. Below, our trusted eye care professionals give you a brief explanation of some of the major types of disposable contact lenses on the market today.
Bi-Weekly and Monthly Contact Lenses
Monthly and bi-weekly disposable contact lenses require more upkeep than daily disposables, requiring daily cleaning and storage in proper contact lens solution. They are, however, more economical overall, since less material goes into making them and you do not have to buy contact lenses as often. Additionally, monthly and bi-weekly contact lenses offer the possibility of extended wear, which allows up to 30 days of continuous day and night contact lens wear, without the necessity of taking them out.
Although more expensive than monthly and bi-weekly contacts, daily disposable contact lenses are an increasingly popular alternative, because they offer the same crystal clear vision, without the need to ensure proper storage and cleaning at the end of each day. Daily disposables allow contact lens wearers the ability to simply throw away each day's pair of contacts before bed, and open a brand new pair the very next day to enjoy the benefits and comfort of clean, clear, crisp contact lenses. Dangerous calcium or hairspray deposits, normally associated with bi-weekly and monthly contact lenses, are no longer an issue, and the chances of developing contact lens related eye infections, normally associated with monthly and bi-weekly contact lenses, become almost a non-issue.
Many disposable contact lenses, of all varieties, also offer tints and colors that may accent your natural eye color or change your eye color altogether. Those with Presbyopia normally would need to have bi-weekly or monthly contacts, although new daily disposable options are also beginning to emerge.
For more information, speak with your eye doctor today.
Q: Can you explain what the difference is between contact lenses that can be worn for a month vs. those that can are meant to be worn for a day, are they made of different materials?
A: Disposable soft contact lenses are traditionally made of a material call hydrogel. In recent times, manufacturers are able increase the breathability of the hydrogel material with silicon. Soft contact lenses that are replaced monthly are designed differently than daily replaced lenses. The latest daily soft contact lenses are made of silicon hydrogel for increased breathability.
Q: Are there advantages to single-use contact lenses? What are they?
A: Daily disposable soft contact lenses are very comfortable with great vision. You essentially are wearing a brand new contact lens every day. The performance of the contact lens is at its best resulting in the maintenance of healthy eyes. The practical aspect of daily disposable soft contact lenses is convenience and savings. One no longer have to daily clean the contact lens and purchase cleaning/storing solution.
Q: What do you find in particular, most exciting about single-use contact lenses, that brings you to recommend them to the patients in your care?
A: Daily disposable contact lenses are now designed to accurately correct for myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism and presbyopia. They are comfortable, convenient, and healthy for the eyes.
Q: Do you find that your patients express positive feedback about dailly disposables, and what is it that they are most happy with?
A: Patients who wear daily disposable soft contact lenses are very satisfied with their lenses. They are happy that their vision is sharp and they are comfortable in their contact lenses all day long.
Q: Will it be more expensive for me if I need to use a new pair of contacts every day?
A: I recommend all my contact lens patients to wear their lenses 5 to 6 days a week. At least 1 to 2 days break from contact lens wear for the eyes to rest. Of course, never to sleep in their contact lenses. In daily disposable contact lenses, you save money every time you don't wear your contact lenses. The need to buy a multi-purpose cleaning solution and storing case is eliminated. In the end, it may cost a little more to wear daily disposable contact lenses, but all of my daily disposable contact lens wearing patients say it is totally worth it. A brand new lens every day providing sharp vision with all day comfort, and without the hassle of having to clean the lenses is totally worth any extra cost.
Q: Are there certain conditions of the eye, or any other reason why you would specifically recommend to a patient the use of single use contact lenses?
A: Patients with allergies who are sensitive to the environment and contact lens cleaning solutions are great candidate for daily disposable contact lenses. Patients with mild dry eyes may be able to wear daily disposable contact lenses part-time, and experience comfort with the help of non-preservative artificial tears.
Q: Are daily disposable contacts available for patients that wear specialty contact lenses?
A: Soft daily disposable contact lenses are able to correct for a variety of refractive errors, but they are limited in correcting vision error due to degenerating eye conditions (i.e. keratoconus) or post surgical eye conditions. They can be used in combination with specialty contact lenses.
Q: Is there anyone that is just not a candidate for daily disposable contacts?
A: Patients with medical eye conditions, i.e. dry eyes, chronic allergic conjunctivitis, or giant papillary conjunctivitis, are generally poor candidates to wear contact lenses, even with soft daily disposable contact lenses.