You may have heard from your aunt, sister, friend, or roommate how great daily lenses are. Your eye doctor tries to convince you to give up those dry, irritating monthly contacts every year, and you wonder…
What makes daily contact lenses so great?
Eye comfort, vision, health, technology, and lifestyle convenience are five reasons why patients and doctors prefer daily contact lenses over other lens modalities.
The number one reason patients stop wearing contact lenses is reduced comfort. Patients who have worn contact lenses for many years tend to develop problems with their contacts. They typically report being unable to wear them as many hours as they did previously or suffer more frequent eye infections.
Studies conclude contact lenses, because of mechanical forces, may alter the tear film layer over the surface of the eye. As a contact lens wearer, you may feel your eyes are drier at the end of the day than they use to be. At one time, maybe you could wear them all day, every day, and not think about them in your eyes. Both genetic and environmental factors can play a role in your inability to wear your contacts including:
- medications you may take
- systemic diseases
- visual demands including screentime
- environmental factors like air conditioning/heat exposure
- number of years you have been wearing contact lenses
Even if you carefully clean your lenses, debris still deposits on your lenses. Debris build-up can cause discomfort and lens intolerance. You may be great at changing your lenses every two weeks or month as your doctor recommended, but you can tell a difference in the comfort of a new lens versus the one you have been wearing for several weeks.
Daily lenses are much more comfortable. Studies show when compared to reusable lenses, daily disposable wearers report less grittiness/dirty sensation, less tired and irritated eyes, and improved satisfaction with their lenses.
Less than satisfactory vision is the second most common reason patients are unhappy with their contact lenses. Vision is often better through daily lenses for two reasons:
- More lens brand options
- Less protein/debris deposits
Whether from pollen in the spring or paper particles in your offices, lenses that are worn for multiple weeks never feel as comfortable as when you insert a new pair.
Daily disposable contacts first came to the market around 25 years ago. Since then, the number of contact lens wearers in two-week or monthly lenses has declined dramatically with a shift towards daily lenses. Contact lens manufacturers are producing two brands of daily contacts for every new monthly lens that enters the market.
Specialty lens wearers like those who have astigmatism or need help with their reading, have especially benefited from increased market options. Previously, they may have had imperfect vision with their contacts; now there are many new brands to try!
There is less likely to be protein build-up or debris on a daily lens. By starting fresh, you eliminate smudgy fingerprints or build-up from debris in the tear film like mascara. When compared to weekly or monthly wearers, daily wearers report fewer deposits, dryness, and less eye irritation. Daily lens wearers also describe fewer incidences of cloudy vision.
Doctors agree daily lenses are the healthiest lens option for the eye. Studies show patients wearing dailies have fewer red eyes, fewer infections, and fewer medical office visits than other lens wearers.
When patients were switched over to daily lenses from monthly lenses, doctors noticed improvements in ocular health and a reduction in both red and dry eyes. Patients report improved satisfaction wearing their contacts. They are less likely to develop contact lens intolerance.
If you only wear your contacts for sports, vacation, or special occasions, daily lenses are the most practical options. Only wearing your lens once, then letting it sit in a wet, enclosed case, is a biology experiment waiting to take place in your eye when you wear it again. It is not safe for part-time wearers to use anything but a daily lens.
It’s been several years since a new monthly toric or multifocal lens has arrived on the lens market. In contrast, in the last two years alone, at least three daily options have been delivered. Each lens has offered an improvement over the existing market option.
Several new toric designs have increased stability with blinking and improved end-of-day comfort including one with water gradient technology. New multi-focal lens designs have improved distance vision without affecting near vision and have made lens fitting easier for the patient by reducing the trials needed to achieve your best vision.
Convenience is a major benefit of wearing daily contacts. Most patients are noncompliant with cleaning their lenses and changing their lenses on schedule. Instead of having to clean your contacts and risk ripping them or buying expensive solutions, you can dispose of them at the end of each day. They are easy to travel with through TSA and convenient for throwing in a gym bag for an after-work workout.
When patients are asked why they would like to switch to daily lenses, their top responses include:
- Daily lenses are more hygienic (78%)
- Daily lenses are more convenient for travel/ business trips (64.3%)
After switching, patients conclude:
- Lenses are “easy and convenient” (95.7%)
- They didn’t “have to worry about expiration dates” on solutions (57.1%)
Some patients may initially see wearing dailies as wasteful, but there are recycling programs for eliminating the trash from your packages. Furthermore, research was performed comparing the amount of waste between dailies and reusable lenses, the results indicated there is more plastic in one bottle of contact lens cleaning solution than a year’s supply of daily lenses.
Some of my favorite daily lenses of all time include:
For more information on why these lenses are my favorite, read about today’s contact lens technology.
95.7% of contact lens wearers were happy with the switch to dailies lenses. With the improvements in comfort, vision, eye health, technology, and convenience, it’s easy to see why so many contact lens wearers love daily contacts!