In this go-to contact lens guide, I have attempted to generate a very short list of my favorite lenses to rectify common complaints and satisfy certain lifestyles of patients.
My Favorite Contact Lenses for Dry Eye
It is difficult to ignore the strides Alcon has made in the daily wear arena.
Their lineup of Dailies® Aqua Comfort Plus® is now available in multifocal and toric options that provide an incredible opportunity for patients seeking comfortable lenses. The Aqua Comfort Plus lineup contains blink-activated moisture release that allows for sustained comfort throughout the day.
Alcon's Dailies Total 1 ® is the first and only water gradient contact lens. It has a silicone core, sandwiched between an outer and inner layer of an ultrasoft hydrophilic surface that boasts greater than 80% water content. The lens is incredibly breathable with a Dk/t of 156.
In Alcon's words: "Experience the lens that feels like nothing."
Dailies Total 1® is great for the following:
- patients that really suffer from contact lens related dryness
- patients that have difficulty tolerating sustained contact lens wear
My Favorite Contact Lenses for Monthly Wear
Hot off the press, Baush & Lomb's new ULTRA™ monthly modality lens is the first of its kind since Cooper released the Biofinity® lens back in 2007. This is a great selling point for patients who want to be in the latest technology. You can tell them "The last monthly contact lens that came out was back when the first iPhone debuted!"
Since the ULTRA™ is brand new, my experience with it has been limited, however I can tell you it is a fantastic option for those monthly modality patients. Available in a wide range of parameters, +6.00 to -12.00, most patients can be fit in these lenses. The lens boast MoistureSeal™ technology that results in an ideal combination of Dk/t, water content, and modulus. It is able to reduce its modulus, but still maintain a high Dk/t, which enables it to provide great breathability and comfort. ULTRA™ also provides great vision by utilizing aspheric optics.
My Favorite Contact Lenses for Multifocal Extended Wear
The lens is approved for 30 days of extended wear, a nice option for patients seeking this type of modality. Utilizing a , this lens provides good distance, near vision and seems to have really found the formula for providing good intermediate vision for patients as well.
The lens comes in some basic parameters with a Low and High Add, but the real trick to fitting this lens is following the fitting guide. I know every contact lens company harps on following the fitting guide, but this is one case where I have found great success in following B&L's recommendations.
My Favorite Contact Lenses for High Prescriptions
Cooper has several lens options available to patients with high prescriptions with high cylinder (>2.25D). Of their class of lenses, the go-to for these patients I have found is the Cooper Proclear XR® class ranging from spherical powers of +10.00 to -10.00 with cylinder from 2.25 to 5.75 in 5 degree axis steps. That is an impressive range of parameters without getting into truly specialty contact lens manufacturers.
The Cooper Proclear Multifocal XR® is also a fantastic option for high ametropes who happen to be presbyopic. A big thank you to Cooper Vision for taking care of this particular class of patients.
My Favorite Contact Lenses for Sun Exposure
There is no question as to the harmful effects of UV radiation on the eyes.
It is never too early to protect our eyes from UV exposure, as young patients are more vulnerable to the harmful effects of the sun. It is well known that more UVA is transmitted through the internal lens in younger patients and tends to decrease as we age. However, regardless of age, ultra violet light always posses increased risk of ocular disease.
Acuvue Oasys® and TruEye® are the only lenses that offer Class 1 protection against ultraviolet light, offering >90% protection against UVA and >99% protection against UVB light. There are some other lenses in the market that offer UV protection, primarily Class 2 (>50% UVA and >95% UVB) protection including Acuvue's other lens options as well as Cooper Avaira Toric®, ClearSight 1 Day® and B&L's BioTrue One Day®.
However, eye care professionals can take comfort in knowing that Vistakon lenses do offer the critical benefit of protection against ultraviolet light.
When you go into the exam room you need an arsenal of contact lens options. Listen to the patient in order to determine which of these contact lenses will be best, not only for their eyes but their life. Patients are more likely to be back in your exam chair if they feel like you fit them in a lens that positively impacted their life. Don't go and just grab any old lens and say "its a good lens". Take the time to explain more about the piece of silicone that will be sitting in their eye for the next 4,380 hours of their life. Prescribe like a real OD, and show them your expertise!
Everyone has their "go-to" contact lenses and as of 2014, these are some my favorites! What are yours?