So many options, not sure which is best for your dry eye?
Are you tired of old technology contacts?
How are your contacts?
Can you wear them all day?
Do they dry out?
Do they make your eyes red or irritated?
Is there anything you don't like about your lenses or could use improvement?
With many lenses on the market, what makes a lens the best contact lens? Many factors are taken into consideration including vision, lens stability, lens design, and dk/t.
Lens material affects vision. For example, some lenses have an aspheric lens design so night driving may be improved. Additionally, other lenses can mask astigmatism so patients will see better. Lenses with higher water content tend to be more comfortable, but in contrast, the vision is not as clear. These are factors your doctor considers when choosing the best contacts for you!
Do you have an astigmatism and need toric contacts?
In the last several years, the contact lens options for toric wearers has increased exponentially. The lenses are now thinner and more stable than ever. In contrast, in the past, toric contacts would move and the vision was not as stable.
Multi-focals are contact lenses designed to correct both the distance and near for those over 40 with trouble reading up close. Lens design is extremely important for a patient's success. More specifically, we need great distance vision and near vision, without one affecting the other.
Dk/t is one of my main factors in describing the "best contact lens." Dk/t measures the amount of oxygen that reaches the cornea through the contact lens. In the past, lack of oxygen caused patient's problems. Neovascularization or blood vessel growth was common in patients with old technology contact lenses. For me, a contact lens with a Dk/t over a 100 tends to be healthy and comfortable for all patients.
In conclusion, only an eye doctor's exam can determine the best contact lenses for your eyes.
Best Contact Lens Materials
All contact lenses are made of slightly different materials; silicone is the material choice for new lens technologies. The type of silicone varies per lens brand which may affect the patient's comfort. Furthermore, this is why one patient may prefer one brand to another.
Silicone has been a popular material because it has allowed contact lenses to become more breathable and more comfortable. It has increased lens Dk/t. Higher Dk/t's are best for the eyes long-term! For example, there is a remarkable difference between Hubble contacts with a dk/t of 18, and Total 1 with a dk/t of 156.
This difference makes the Total 1 lens healthier and more comfortable for your eye.
On the other hand, hydrogels are older materials which tend to become dry, and cause ocular redness due to their lower dk/t. Lenses may be difficult to remove, and feel "stuck" to the eye.
Most of my patients prefer silicone hydrogels with a high Dk/t.
Best Contact Lens Modalities
The modality of a contact lens refers to wear time. A majority of contact lenses have a modality of either 1 month, 2-week or are daily lenses.
As an eye doctor, I tend to prefer a monthly lens or a daily for patients. Both of these modalities are easier for the patient to remember when they should change their contact lens. In contrast, 2-week modalities make it difficult for patients and they tend to over wear them.
For most patients, a daily lens will be the most comfortable and healthy option. It is always my favorite!
Always clean and fresh, daily contacts significantly reduce your risk of eye infection, and increase your eye comfort.
Best Contact Lens For Lifestyle
One's occupation matters when it comes to the best contact lens selection. Flight attendants, hospital personnel, and frequent travelers are likely to need the best lens on the market. Planes and hospitals have a drastic affect on contact lens comfort.; both can be significantly dry.
Allergy sufferers tend to have more problems with their contacts. Not only can the pollen build up on lenses leading to allergic conjunctivitis, but allergy medications dry out both your sinuses and eyes. With allergies sufferers, sometimes it's difficult to separate allergies from dry eye problems.
Computer & Digital Device Use
Conducted studies show digital device and computer users blink only half the number of times they would if not on a device. Less blinking contributes to dry eye. Dry eye, eye fatigue, headaches, and light sensitivity are symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome.
Many environmental and genetic factors put one more at risk of dry eye. The best contact lenses for dry eye sufferers is a daily, silicone hydrogel lens.
The goal of fitting children in the best contact lenses is to pick a solution that is easy, healthy, and risk-free. Parents will not have to worry about their children wearing contacts. Additionally, athletes prefer daily modalities for traveling, cleanliness, and ease of use.