Q. Can you explain what the difference is between contact lenses that can be worn for a month vs. those that can are meant to be worn for a day, are they made of different materials?
A. Daily disposable and monthly contact lenses are made of different materials. Patients usually notice improved comfort and visual acuity with daily disposables. Most importantly, patients wearing daily disposables have a lower risk of ocular infections. By replacing contact lenses every day, patients generally see less ocular inflammation, less redness and less allergic eye itching.
Q. Please clarify the difference between what we are speaking about, replacement frequency, vs. daily wear or extended wear contacts, which is an issue of wearing schedule.
A. Daily wear lenses are worn during waking hours, removed before bed, and cleaned. Lenses are then inserted in the morning upon awakening. Extended wear lenses are worn upwards of six days and nights out of the week without cleaning. Patients that wear lenses on an extended wear basis are more at risk for ocular infections.
Q. Are there advantages to single-use contact lenses? What are they?
A. There are many! The biggest is ocular health. Patients wearing daily disposables are at a lower risk of developing ocular infections. Daily disposables provide UV protection which bi-weekly and monthly lenses do not. Patients usually notice improved comfort with daily disposables as they wear a new, fresh lens every day. Because the lens does not degrade over time, patients also noticed improved optics with daily disposables which results in clearer vision. Patients also enjoy the added convenience of wearing lenses for one day rather than cleaning lenses nightly and maintaining a wearing schedule.
Q. What do you find in particular, most exciting about single-use contact lenses, that brings you to recommend them to the patients in your care?
A. The biggest benefit of single-use contact lenses are the ocular health benefits, namely less red-eye symptoms and lower risk of infection. As an eye care provider, I have an obligation to educate patients on modality changes that may reduce their infection risk. Wearing a contact lens with UV protection decreases UV damage to the eye with has numerous health benefits as well.
Q. Do you find that your patients express positive feedback about daily disposables, and what is it that they are most happy with?
A. Yes, often. Patients are impressed with the improved comfort and vision that daily disposable lenses offer. Its hard to beat having a clean fresh lens every day.
Q. Will it be more expensive for me if I need to use a new pair of contacts every day?
A. Daily disposable lenses are typically more expensive than other modalities. However, insurance plans and FSAs can be used to offset the cost, as well as manufacturer rebates that can be upwards of $200 off an annual supply. Patients also save about $120 a year, by not needing to purchase contact lens solutions.
Q. Are there certain conditions of the eye, or any other reason why you would specifically recommend to a patient the use of single-use contact lenses?
A. One condition where patients benefit from daily disposables are patients with mild to moderate dry eye disease. Daily disposable contact lenses offer patients with dry eye disease improved comfort that often translates into longer wear times. Patients that suffer from allergies frequently report fewer symptoms when wearing daily disposables. Its really hard as just about every patient can benefit from daily disposable contact lenses.
Q. Are daily disposable contacts available for patients that wear specialty contact lenses?
A. Daily disposable lenses are available for patients with astigmatism and multifocal (for presbyopia). However, at this time custom specialty lenses do not come in daily disposables.
Q. Is there anyone that is just not a candidate for daily disposable contacts?
A. Patients that over-wear contact lenses are not good candidates for daily disposables because these lenses cannot be slept in. Patients with corneal diseases, corneal scars, or requiring a more custom contact lens fit may not be good candidates for daily disposables.
Q. Is there any further information that patients should know about daily disposables vs. traditional, or reusable contacts?
A. Daily disposables contact lenses are the fastest growing segment of the contact lens market. About 80% of our contact lens patient population wears daily disposal contact lenses. Due to the enormous vision and eye health benefits, we predict that in 5 years daily disposables will be the only contact lenses made.