Here are the contact lenses that I routinely prescribe and my favorite contact lenses for 2019!
Continuing with our yearly update, I've highlighted my favorite contact lenses! This year there are some new lenses to highlight, and some others have even dropped off. Of course, this list is strictly based upon my own personal experience as a contact lens wearer and the feedback received from my own contact lens wearing patients.
Best Contact Lenses - Daily Disposable
In previous years, I was a big fan of Alcon’s Dailies Total 1®. This was the first and only contact lens of its class at the time, consisting of a silicone core, sandwiched between an outer and inner layer of an ultrasoft, hydrophilic surface.
These lenses are extremely comfortable, however, once ACUVUE®OASYS® Daily Contact Lenses with HydraLuxe™ Technology entered the scene, with its comfort provided by HydraLuxe™ Technology—which is tear infused, meaning it works all day long—I would say that they are now neck and neck regarding comfort.
Over the last year, I must admit that I found myself preferring the Oasys 1 Day over the Dailies Total 1. While both lenses are incredibly comfortable, the optics of the Oasys 1 Day seem to provide better and more consistent vision throughout the day. This is the first year I would say that the Oasys 1 Day is the clear winner here.
Daily disposable contact lenses can be more expensive than reusable lenses; however, there are some great benefits to these lenses. Watch the video to hear the thoughts of Dr. Melissa Barnett on the benefits of these lenses and how you can use both dailies and reusable lenses for different tasks.
Best Contact Lenses - Monthly Wear
VITA is one of the newest monthly modality lenses on the market. It provides many of those same great benefits and design features of the Acuvue Oasys that so many patients are familiar with, but it is designed to maintain its wettability over the entire duration of its wear cycle (30 days).
By using long-chain polyvinyl pyrrolidone (PVP), a highly effective hydrating agent, throughout the lens and integrating the optimal density and distribution of lipids from the tear film throughout the lens, monthly lens wearers are left with an extremely comfortable lens that lasts for an entire month. I frequently educate patients wearing monthly lenses, that proper hygiene is critical in order to preserve the lens and ensure optimal comfort and wear time.
Best Contact Lenses - Multifocal Contact Lenses for Presbyopes
Most patients who need contact lenses for presbyopia typically suffer from some degree of dry eye. For that reason, I have found myself prescribing daily disposable, multifocal contact lenses.
Alcon's DAILIES TOTAL 1® MULTIFOCAL is a fantastic lens for these patients. This lens takes the technology that makes the Dailies Total 1 so incredibly comfortable and utilizes special optics to give presbyopic patients excellent vision and unmatched comfort.
Because dry eye is so prevalent in this patient demographic, it really is a fantastic lens option for these patients.
Multifocal contact lenses are quickly becoming a good solution for young, millennial patients who are spending an ever-increasing amount of time on digital devices and more frequently suffer from eyestrain. Dr. Jennifer Lyerly talks a little bit about these contact lenses for this subset of patients:
Best Contact Lenses - Bang For Your Buck
Despite the increasing affordability of daily disposable contact lenses, sometimes patients need the next best thing at a more affordable price. For these patients, I always recommend ACUVUE OASYS® 2 WEEK lenses. It is an amazing lens option available for these patients.
They offer a tried and tested lens, that provides great breathability and comfort. With the advent of rebates, even without insurance, patients can obtain a year supply of these contact lenses for around $200 a year.
The Acuvue 2, isn't a bad alternative if patients still demand something less expensive. These lenses feature one of the highest levels of UV‡ protection available in a contact lens along with other propriety lens technology such as INFINITY EDGE™ Design to provide for additional comfort.
Best Contact Lenses - Extended or Overnight Wear
I hardly ever prescribe lenses for overnight wear, but I can appreciate that there are patients out there who need a lens that can provide this.
I recommend the tried and tested AIR OPTIX® NIGHT & DAY® AQUA contact lenses which are FDA-approved for daily wear and up to 30 nights of continuous wear. These lenses have a Dk/t (*Dk/t = 175) meaning these patients will receive adequate oxygen to the eyes overnight.
I always educate these patients on the risks of sleeping in lenses and overnight wear and on the fact that these particular lenses are only approved for 30 days of wear.
I tell them that the only way to protect themselves from the dangers of overnight wear is to ensure they are changing the lenses on time every month. If a patient is going to sleep in a contact lens, I'd prefer they sleep in one that can handle those demands.
Best Contact Lenses - Patients with High Prescriptions
Unchanged from my list in 2014, 2016, and 2018 Cooper Vision® is still, in my opinion, offers the best contact lens options for this class of patients. Cooper has several lens options available to patients with high prescriptions.
For high ammetropes, Cooper Biofinity XR® is the clear choice, with power ranges from 20.00 to +15.00. For those patients needing astigmatic correction of over >2.25D, my go-to for these patients is still the Biofinity Toric XR®.
These contact lenses range from spherical powers of +10.00 to -10.00 with cylinder from 2.25 to 5.75 in 5-degree axis steps.
Fortunately, Alcon has released DAILIES® AQUACOMFORT PLUS®CONTACT LENSES in expanded parameters. You can now get these lenses in +8.00 to -15.00! That is excellent news for patients who have high prescriptions that are looking for a daily option.