One of the most common questions I receive as an optometrist is: “which contact lenses are the best?” There is no blanket answer for this question- what is perfect for you is intolerable for your neighbor. A better way to phrase that question as a contact lens wearer is: “what type of contact lens is best for my visual and lifestyle needs?” I have found that this question leads the patient and myself down an avenue of discussion that gives us the greatest chance of increasing patient happiness and success in contact lens wear. Let me briefly illustrate how this might work by using my favorite type of contact lens as an example- the daily disposable contact lens.
One key differentiating factor in which type of contact lens works best for you is how often you prefer to replace your lenses. Once a month? Once every two weeks? Never???? (I’ll pretend I didn’t hear that!) How about daily? Daily disposable contact lens wear is a growing modality of contact lens wear that is suitable for many lifestyles and should really appeal to active individuals. Here is how it works- you open a new case and put in fresh, never-been-worn contact lenses in the morning and at the end of the day you simply take them out and toss them in the trash. Sleep, boot and repeat! You get the comfort of inserting a brand new contact lens every morning (who doesn’t love that?!) and decrease the risks of eye infection by throwing out the old pair every night. There is a marked increase in contact lens safety amongst daily contact lens wearers. In small informal studies I have done in my own office, patients prefer the comfort of daily contacts to nearly every other brand.
So … who should consider dailies? and why?? I have already mentioned that daily lenses provide the best in comfort and safety for everyone. People with busy, active lifestyles enjoy the ease of daily contact lens wear. I have had several traditional monthly replacement contact lens wearers who travel regularly switch to dailies for convenience alone. They report that it is easier to fit a large supply of contacts into their pack without carrying bulky cleaning solution bottles. Some of these people are gone for months at a time- photographers, geo-scientists, and world citizens- and enjoy being able to pack 3 months supply of contacts into one pouch in their travel bag. Maybe you wear other contacts or glasses most of the time but like to camp a couple of weeks out of the year. A small supply of daily lenses is perfect for that situation!! You do not have to buy and entire year’s worth if you don’t want to. Many people keep a few daily lenses around to supplement traditional contact wear. People with dry eyes (do your eyes ever burn or sting throughout the day???) and people with ocular allergies (how about itching??) have found relief with daily wear lenses. You see, allergens (the tiny things that cause itching) build up on our contacts no matter how well we clean them. Over the course of a month, this leads to itchy, uncomfortable eyes! Daily wear reduces this problem by providing a new lens each day. As for dryness, daily contact lenses are thinner and the material that they are made out of allows for more oxygen transmission to the cornea and general relief from the symptoms of dry eyes. The only concern I have heard about daily contact lens wear is the increase in waste from plastic packaging. That is a fair point and one Boston Mountain Eye Care is addressing. The plastic in the contact lenses themselves add up to about the equivalent of about two credit cards per year if you assume 365 days of two contacts in each eye. That’s not much. As for the contact cases- Boston Mountain Eye Care accepts empty cases and saves them for bulk recycling. Just save them each day, drop them by our office and we will do our part to keep them out of landfills. Simple.
In short- almost everyone can benefit from daily contact lenses in some way. Is it right for you?? We are happy to safely, professionally fit and dispense sample contacts to our patients and explore all avenues of contact lens wear until we find the contact lens that is perfect for you. We are always learning, always trying new products, and always listening to our patients’ feedback so that we can provide you with the best contact lens wearing experience possible, designed specifically for your vision and lifestyle needs.
Please hit us up with any questions you might have. Thanks!! Until next time,