Do you know what your daily disposable contacts are made of—the type of material used? Or why you should care?
Many people don’t.
If you’re like most people, you just go with whatever your eye doctor recommends. But know this…
Different lens materials can impact your ocular health differently. Oxygen flow is the key.
You decide: Do you want more oxygen for your eyes or less?
Eye doctors typically prescribe daily disposable contact lenses that feature one of two types of soft lens materials:
- Silicone hydrogel (sil-i-kohn hahy-druh-jel)
It’s important to know that silicone hydrogel has a key advantage over hydrogel when it comes to maintaining your ocular health: Greater oxygen flow to your eyes.
What is a “daily disposable” contact lens?
Daily disposable contact lenses (also called 1 day lenses) are designed for a single day’s use, not including sleep time. Wear them during your waking hours, then remove them and toss them into the trash before you sleep. Every day.
Two reasons people choose daily disposable contact lenses:
- They are the most convenient contact lens option—you can skip the daily cleaning ritual. Just toss the lenses out at the end of one day and replace them with a fresh pair the next.
- There’s less time for protein and other substances found naturally in your tears to build up on the lens. Deposit buildup reduces the oxygen permeability of the lens. That can lead to eye irritation and a hot or burning sensation.5 Deposit buildup can also make your eyes more prone to infection.6
Your eyes need plenty of oxygen to stay comfortable, white and healthy. Unlike other parts of your body, your corneas do not have blood vessels to nourish them with oxygen. Instead, they must get oxygen from your tears and directly from the air to stay comfortable, white and healthy.
That’s why it’s important to know that silicone hydrogel lens material allows higher levels of oxygen to flow through the lens to your eyes than hydrogel. In fact, silicone hydrogel lens material allows almost as much oxygen to reach your eyes as if you weren’t wearing contact lenses at all.1
When your eyes don't get enough oxygen, hypoxia can occur. Common signs of hypoxia include:
- Red, bloodshot eyes
- Swelling of the cornea
- Blood vessels growing into the cornea
- Blurry vision in more severe cases
If you follow your eye doctor’s advice and recommendations, the risk of eye damage from wearing contacts is very low.2
However, because hydrogel contact lenses restrict higher levels of oxygen to the eye, wearing them can results in excessive formation of blood vessels (that red, bloodshot eyes look) in as little as 8 hours.3
It’s also important to know that your risk for hypoxia is greater if your eyes naturally crave more oxygen, or you require a higher prescription to correct your vision.
For example, if you have a higher degree of nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism, your vision may need to be corrected using a contact lens that requires a thicker design. Even though these types of lenses are very thin, they don’t allow as much oxygen to flow through to your corneas as lenses for lower prescriptions.
More reasons to choose silicone hydrogel daily disposable contact lenses
Silicone hydrogel is now just as comfortable as hydrogel
First generation silicone hydrogel daily disposable lenses were stiffer, thicker and less comfortable than hydrogel. Not so today. The latest generation of silicone hydrogel materials is softer and more comfortable than its predecessors.
Some eye care practitioners still hold the misconception that silicone hydrogel lenses aren’t as comfortable as hydrogel. A recent review of clinical studies4 comparing silicone hydrogel and hydrogel daily disposable contact lenses shows otherwise.
In these studies,4 patients reported that the latest silicone hydrogel lenses are just as comfortable as hydrogel…
- on insertion
- all day
- and at end of day
That’s good news if you want the healthiest contact lens material without sacrificing comfort.
If you’re health-conscious and budget-conscious, then you’ll be glad to know that the latest silicone hydrogel daily disposables are more affordable than earlier generations.
And today’s advanced silicone hydrogel daily disposable lenses offer you the healthiest contact lens material* for your eyes.
If you now wear hydrogel daily disposable lenses, talk to your eye care professional about switching to advanced silicone hydrogel daily disposable lenses. And if you’re considering daily disposables for the first time, silicone hydrogel is an easy choice.
You might also like:
- How Do We See? Learn more about your corneas and other parts of the eye.
- clariti® 1 day contacts. Nearsighted or farsighted. Astigmatism or presbyopia. Get the healthy advantages of a silicone hydrogel, daily disposable contact lens.
1. Brennan NA. Beyond Flux: Total Corneal Oxygen Consumption as an Index of Corneal Oxygenation During Contact Lens Wear. Optom Vis Sci. 2005 Jun;82(6):467-72. Applies to SiHy lenses with Dk/t of 15 or higher.
2. Heiting G. Are Contacts Bad For Your Eyes? All About Vision. Accessed April 25, 2017.
3. Papas EB, Vajdic CM, Austen R, Holden BA. High-oxygen-transmissibility soft contact lenses do not induce limbal hyperaemia. Curr Eye Res. 1997 Sep;16(9):944-946.
4. Diec J, Tilia D, Thomas V. Comparison of silicone hydrogel and hydrogel daily disposable contact lenses. Eye Contact Lens. 2017. DOI: 10.1097/ICL.0000000000000363 [Epub ahead of print].
5. Heiting G. Why Do Contacts Burn? All About Vision. Accessed May 12, 2017.
6. Segre L, Barr JT. Daily Disposable Contact Lenses: A Healthy And Convenient Choice. All About Vision. Accessed May 12, 2017.
*Data on file. With higher oxygen permeability than hydrogel materials, silicone hydrogel contact lenses minimize or eliminate hypoxia-related signs and symptoms during lens wear. They also promote clear, white eyes.