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My 5 Favorite Contact Lenses for 2016

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Here are the top 5 contact lenses that I routinely prescribe.

I have found that these lenses tend to accommodate the specific needs and preferred wear modality of a majority of my patients. I’ll also share with you why I generally find myself utilizing these contact lenses over the plethora of options available. Be sure to check out my favorite contact lenses from 2014.

Make sure you let us know what contact lens is your favorite by voting in our first annual contact lens tournament!

1. My Favorite Contact Lenses for Dry Eye

Alcon’s Dailies Total 1® was the first and only water gradient contact lens manufactured, with a silicone core, sandwiched between an outer and inner layer of an ultrasoft hydrophilic surface.dalies total 1

These contact lenses are comprised of over 80% water content, and are extremely breathable with a Dk/t of 156. With these contact lenses, you get both comfort and breathability, which addresses two major concerns for all contact lens wearers; wearability, and maintaining health of the ocular surface.

It was difficult to imagine that there could be a lens that would rival Alcon’s Dailies Total 1®, until however we saw the release of ACUVUE® OASYS® Daily Contact Lenses with HydraLuxe Technology. We now have a major competitor to Alcon’s Dailies Total 1® and maybe even a better lens.

The ACUVUE® OASYS® Daily Contact Lenses with HydraLuxe Technology has a Dk/t of 121, and water content of 38%. The secret to the comfort of these lenses can be found within the HydraLuxe™ Technologacuvue oasys 1 day with hydraluxy
which is tear infused. This integrates key tear components aside from water alone, and because it is not blink released, works consistently all day long.

My experience both wearing and fitting these contact lenses has been nothing short of incredible. The patients who I have fit in these contact lenses have had nothing but positive things to say about them.

One of the main advantages of ACUVUE OASYS® Brand Contact Lenses 1-Day with HydraLuxe Technology over Alcon’s Dailies Total 1® is that they accommodate a wider range of powers (at least for now) from -12.00 to +8.00 and have maintained Class 1 UV Blocking (Blocks >90% UVA and >99% UVB).

2. My Favorite Contact Lenses for Monthly Wear

Bausch & Lomb’s ULTRA™ monthly modality lens was the first of its kind since Cooper released the Biofinity® lens back in 2007. It is still the newest monthly modality lens that has surfaced in recent years.

Since the ULTRA™ lens has been available, my experience with these contact lenses has been fantastic. bausch and lomb ultra contactsPatients seeking a monthly lens have a wide range of parameters available to them, +6.00 to -12.00.

The lens was designed with MoistureSeal technology that results in a great combination of Dk/t, water content, and modulus.

Reducing modulus but maintaining a high Dk/t has given us a very comfortable lens without sacrificing breathability.

3. My Favorite Contact Lenses for Multi Focal Wearers

As daily lenses become increasingly more popular, I have undoubtedly found myself prescribing more daily or single use lenses within my practice. In past years, there were not many daily options available to presbyopes; however, within the last few years, we’ve seen the emergence of new contact lenses in this realm.

One of the most exciting lenses that I had an opportunity to work with in 2015 was The 1-DAY ACUVUE ® MOIST Brand MULTIFOCAL which is part of the 1-DAY ACUVUE ® MOIST Family of products with LACREON® Technology.

You can read an in depth analysis of  The 1-DAY ACUVUE ® MOIST Brand MULTIFOCAL lens here. 
acuvue 1 day moist multifocal

I have had such great success with this particular lens. A vast majority of the patients that I have fit with this lens not only report good comfort but superior vision compared to other lenses I have utilized.

This patented technology consists of a wetting agent permanently embedded into the matrix of the lens that improves end of day comfort and doesn’t decrease with blinking.

Lens optics are unique in that it is the only aspheric, center-near multifocal design with pupil optimization. This takes into account the natural variation of pupil size that occurs with both age and refractive error.

4. My Favorite Contact Lenses for Monthly Multifocal Wear

I have been extremely successful fitting Alcon’s AIR OPTIX®AQUA Multifocal Contact Lenses.

air optix multifocal contacts

The lens is approved for 6 nights of extended wear, and 30 days of daily wear.

One of the main reasons I have found great success with this lens has been the wide range of parameters available including three different add powers (LO, MED, HIGH).

I’ve quickly discovered that there are many presbyopic patients who need a medium add power who face a difficult time when they are limited to other contact lenses that only provide a “Low” or “High” option.

These contact lenses provide predictably good distance, intermediate, and near vision with use of their unique Precision Profile Design.

I relish in the idea of giving patients a true binocular profile, and avoiding a modified multifocal monovision that I seem to fall victim to orchestrating with other lenses with limited ADD powers.

5. My Favorite Contact Lenses for Extended Wear

While I am not a major advocate of extended wear modality, I along with all other practitioners out there, have a subset of patients who prefer or need this specific type of wear schedule.

I have discovered that ACUVUE OASYS® Brand Contact Lenses have been a fantastic option to not only accommodate the needs of these patients, but have fulfilled my desire to promote compliance and ensure a healthy ocular surface to the best of my ability.

You can read an in depth analysis of Acuvue Oasys® Brand Contact Lenses for extended wear here.

Acuvue Oasys® is FDA approved for extended wear of six consecutive nights. I personally prefer this shortened extended wear modality to a 30 day extended wear lens.acuvue oasys contact lens

Giving a patient a shortened extended wear lens provides a sort of compromise so to speak that I can support. The 54 lens packaging is also unique, helping to promote compliance with the wear schedule.

There are known harmful effects of UV radiation on the eyes, and ACUVUE OASYS® offers Class 1 protection against ultraviolet light, offering >90% protection against UVA and >99% protection against UVB. This is yet another bonus, and reason I really like prescribing these lenses.

My Favorite Contact Lenses for High Prescriptions

Unchanged from my list in 2014, Cooper Vision® is still the company offering contact lens options to this class of patients.

I did not include these contact lenses in my top 5 list because I generally only use these lenses for special cases; however, I felt that they deserve an honorable mention.

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. biofinity xr cooper vision contact lens

For those high ammetropes who are also lucky to have astigmatism (>2.25D), my go-to for these patients is still the Cooper Proclear 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.

That is an impressive range of parameters without getting into the strictly specialty contact lens manufacturers.

The Cooper Proclear Multifocal XR® is also a fantastic option for high ammetropes who happen to be presbyopic.

A big thank you to Cooper Vision for taking care of these particular patients who without these contact lenses, would have very few options and would have to rely on “custom” lens alternatives.

Everyone has their “go-to” contact lenses and these are some my favorites and the lenses I frequently call upon! What are yours?

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About Antonio Chirumbolo

Antonio Chirumbolo
Antonio is Managing Editor of NewGradOptometry.com and the co-founder of NewGradMedia.com. Antonio also practices optometry in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania working in private practice. Antonio's focus is in the world of digital publications and healthcare marketing, with special attention on content creation, management, and development.

5 comments

  1. Courtney Dryer

    Antonio,

    Do you ever have patients that have difficulty with the plasma treatment on air optix lenses? I love the vision the air optix mf provides, but it seems end of day scratchiness/ itching is a common complaint.

  2. Antonio Chirumbolo

    I find that most people who cannot tolerate the Air Optix MF not discomfort immediately. I rarely get someone who puts the lens on and reports good comfort later tell me it is not comfortable.

    So I guess, I tend to observe the opposite issue. Initial comfort can sometimes be a major barrier!

  3. Matt Geller

    My favorite on this list is the Acuvue Oasys 1day with hydralux… only contact I will wear.

  4. Alan Hart

    Hi Dr. Chirumbolo, I’m an enduser, not an optometrist. I was wondering why you recommend Acuvue Oasys 1-day with HydraLuxe over Acuvue Oasys 2-week with Hydraclear. Both have 38% water content, I believe they have identical UV protection, and the 2-week version has Dk/t of 147 versus 121 for the 1-day version.

    Moreover, what is your favorite re-useable contact lens for dry eyes, and why? Dailies are too costly.

    Thanks in advance.

    • Antonio Chirumbolo

      Hey Alan, thank you for writing. The major difference between the Oasys and the Oasys 1 Day is the Hydraluxe technology. I’m not sure if you had a chance to experience the comfort of the Oasys 1 Day, but next time you are at your eyecare professional, you should ask for a sample. I’m sure he or she would not mind giving you one, that way you can experience the difference for yourself. The Oasys is a fantastic lens, and can really meet the needs of most patients; however the Oasys 1 Day really takes things to the next level for patients needing that extra comfort. I like the Oasys for the average contact lens wearer with what I call average eye physiology. If you can wear the Oasys comfortably throughout the day, then I’d say you found a great lens for yourself 🙂

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