In this article, I mention the top five lenses that I routinely prescribe and the new lenses I’m most excited to try in 2020.
It’s 2020, the year of the optometrist, and time for an update of our annual list of top contact lenses. Here is my personal list of favorite lenses for the year, based on my own clinical experience and patient feedback. Check out how they compare to last year’s list.
There are so many contact lenses available it can be overwhelming to choose a new lens for a patient. Not sure what to pick first? Use this short guide to get started.
Best daily disposable contact lenses
Alcon’s Dailies Total 1® used to be my favorite daily disposable lens. With its silicone core and water gradient design, plus a water content of 80% at the surface and Dk/t of 156, it was revolutionary in terms of comfort when it was first released.
However, a few years later Acuvue brought the big guns when they released the ACUVUE® OASYS® Daily Contact Lenses with HydraLuxe™. This lens has become my absolute go-to daily to fit due to its breathability and superior clarity. The ACUVUE® OASYS® Daily Contact Lens with HydraLuxe™ Technology has a water content of 38% and Dk/t of 121. Its biggest selling point is the tear-infused HydraLuxe™ Technology that gives it unsurpassed all-day comfort. Patients routinely tell me this is the most comfortable lens they have ever worn.
As a bonus, the ACUVUE OASYS® 1-DAY for ASTIGMATISM has around-the-clock axis options for many powers, making it a game-changer for patients with astigmatism looking for a daily option. The only major downside is no multifocal yet: for those presbyopic patients, I still gravitate towards Alcon’s Dailies Total 1 Multifocal first.
Best monthly replacement contact lenses
Coopervision’s Biofinity® family of lenses are hands down my favorite monthly lenses on the market. While they have been around since 2007, I still find myself grabbing from this fitting set often. With a Dk/t of 160 and water content of 48%, this is a solidly comfortable lens. One of its major strengths is its Optimized Toric Lens Geometry™, making its astigmatism lens one of the most stable torics on the market. The Biofinity XR and Toric XR also give excellent options for those patients with high prescriptions. The XR has power ranges from +15.00 D to -20.00 D, and the Toric XR can correct astigmatism up to -5.75 D in five-degree steps.
Best bang-for-your-buck contact lenses
Most ODs would like to put the majority of their patients in daily disposable lenses. However, patients can balk at the high cost of premium dailies. Enter the reliable 1-DAY ACUVUE® MOIST. Its LACREON® Technology provides all-day comfort with its cushion of moisture. In combination with rebates offered by Acuvue, the cost of this lens can be quite reasonable. It is a great lens to try converting those die-hard ACUVUE OASYS® two-week lens patients into daily disposable wearers.
However, Alcon’s new more moderately priced PRECISION1® may give 1-Day Acuvue Moist a run for its money. If dailies are still too expensive for a patient, ACUVUE OASYS® two-week replacement lens is still a decent option.
Best contact lenses for presbyopes
While the DAILIES TOTAL® Multifocal is my favorite daily disposable lens for presbyopes, I have been blown away by Bausch + Lomb ULTRA for Presbyopia, especially their new Bausch + Lomb ULTRA Multifocal for Astigmatism. Before, the only option for presbyopic astigmats was the Proclear® multifocal toric. How great to have a brand new monthly option with Bausch + Lomb’s moisture seal technology and three-zone progressive design! This lens has an impressive Dk/T of 114 and water content 46%. The simple low and high add options and fitting process make fitting these lenses a breeze. I’ve had great success with the few patients I have tried it on.
Word on the street is Coopervision is releasing Biofinity Toric Multifocal later this year. Presbyopes are slowly getting more multifocal options than ever!
Best new innovations in contact lenses
The new decade brings a number of new lenses and parameters to the market. The lens I’m most looking forward to trying is Coopervision’s new MiSight® one day daily for myopia control.
We all know the importance of controlling myopia progression in our young patients. While we had some soft multifocal options in the past, they were primarily monthly replacement and had to be used off-label.
For clinicians who want to jump into the myopia control game but are intimidated by the idea of CRT or atropine, the new FDA approved MiSight one day will be an easy way to get started. They are designed just like center distance soft multifocals. Plus, the daily replacement is ideal for young patients, with no cleaning regimen required.
These lenses use ActivControl™ Technology, which allows for clear vision at all distances with peripheral treatment zones that create peripheral myopic retinal defocus, shown to control the rate of myopic progression. MiSight one day has been approved for children between ages eight to 12, with prescriptions from -0.75 D to -4.00 D, and less than or equal to -0.75 D astigmatism. It is set to release spring 2020!
Innovation honorable mentions go to ACUVUE® OASYS with Transitions™ for its glare reducing capabilities, and to Bausch + Lomb ULTRA for Astigmatism and ACUVUE OASYS® for ASTIGMATISM for increasing their parameters of stock lenses to include -2.75 D cylinder, giving patients with higher astigmatism some reasonably priced contact lens options without having to special-order XR lenses.
This has been my list of top lenses for 2020, including both some old standards and some brand new innovations. It is an exciting time for contact lens prescribers, as we are now able to prescribe for more parameters and patients than ever. There are tons of strategies on how to choose which lenses to fit.
What are your methods and favorite lenses? Comment below!