First experiences with 1 Day
silicone hydrogels:
New Insights from Eye Care Professionals
and Contact Lens Wearers

Introduction and background

The use of 1 Day silicone hydrogel (SiHy) contact lenses has grown steadily since their initial launch more than 10 years ago.1 But eye care professionals (ECPs) still don’t fit patients with SiHy 1 Day lenses as often as they fit patients with SiHy frequently replaced reusable lenses (63% vs 80%).1

Previous surveys, both commissioned by CooperVision®, have explored ECP beliefs about 1 Day SiHy,2 along with their fitting habits when switching patients from frequent replacement to 1 Day lenses.3 The surveys found that ECPs strongly believe in the health and comfort benefits of 1 Day SiHy,2 but that their fitting practices were affected by concerns over their patients’ ability to afford the lenses.3,4

This most recent survey focused on first-time wearers5,6:

What level of understanding do patients who are new to contact lenses have?

To what degree do ECP fitting practices align with their patients’ wishes?

The research was conducted with ECPs and new 1 Day SiHy wearers in Italy and Japan, which were chosen to help determine whether access to contact lenses influences outcomes. The two countries approach regulatory access to contact lenses differently — Japan requires prescriptions; Italy does not.

The results offer new insights you can use to proactively recommend 1 Day SiHy in your practice.

Survey details

The survey focused on fitting practices in relation to beliefs about 1 Day SiHy, where ECPs and patients seek information, and how ECPs educate and communicate with patients.

Italy and Japan

Respondents were 100 ECPs (Italy n=50, Japan n=50), and 149 consumers who had started wearing 1 Day SiHy within the previous 18 months (Italy n=100, Japan n=49). Key sample demographics are summarized in Table 1.

Note: The survey coincided with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, in March 2020. But because survey respondents were asked about their longer-term experience and beliefs, the timing is thought not to have influenced responses. We note that contact lens wear poses no increased risk of contracting COVID-19.7 However, the pandemic has renewed focus on safe and compliant lens wear, including thorough hand hygiene, and using a 1 Day disposable modality to reduce some risks associated with reusing lenses can be considered particularly relevant during this time.7

Table 1: Survey demographics for ECPs and wearers



Average age

Average years fitting
contact lenses

Average # fits to new wearers/month
and % of that are 1 Day fits


Female 22%, Male 70%, Undeclared 8%



45% of which new 1 Day fits


Female 8%, Male 78%, Undeclared 14%



57% of which new 1 Day fits



Average age

Average days/week
contact lenses worn

Average hours/week
contact lenses worn


Female 58%, Male 42%





Female 53%, Male 47%




Here are 3 important areas to consider:


The disconnect between ECP beliefs about 1 Day SiHy and their fitting practices

A significant contrast between beliefs and action persists. We know from previous surveys that about 90% of ECPs in Japan8 and other countries2 believe in the health and comfort benefits of SiHy material for 1 Day wearers (Table 2). But when ECPs in the new survey were asked which material they preferred for their 1 Day fits, they said:

(40% Italy)
(54% Japan)
No preference
(46% Italy)
(36% Japan)
(14% Italy)
(10% Japan)

To explore these differences further, it is helpful to look at a direct comparison for Japan. The figures for ECP beliefs about 1 Day SiHy are shown for 100 ECPs below (from a 2018 survey).

Table 2:

Beliefs and preferences of ECPs from Japan (2018, 100 ECPs surveyed)


SiHy 1 Day lenses are the best choice to safeguard my patients’ eye health related to contact lens wear


SiHy is the healthiest lens material for my daily disposable patients


Around 9 out of 10

ECPs in Japan believe in the benefits of SiHy material for 1 Day wearers, yet this is the preferred material only half the time, with more than one-third of practitioners having no preference.

The disconnect is likely related in part to perceived patient affordability:

ECP beliefs


of ECPs said patients had expressed concerns about cost

And ECPs weren’t sure the benefits of 1 Day SiHy justified the cost:

32% strongly believed that the benefits of SiHy are worth the extra cost

But 68% were neutral regarding benefits vs. cost

Which may be why ECPs were more likely to recommend 1 Day SiHy lenses only to certain types of patients:

26% said those who appear health conscious*
15% said those who have researched contact lenses
16% (Italy) said younger patients*
16% (Japan) said those with higher disposable incomes

Wearer beliefs

than 20%

of consumers actually expressed concern about cost

And most indicated they would likely choose 1 Day SiHy lenses if their ECP recommended them:


conveyed high levels of trust in their ECPs’ recommendations (91% Italy, 78% Japan)

*Significant differences between countries.
†Once they understood that a 1 Day SiHy option was the best option for their eyes

The gap between beliefs and fitting practices existed even though ECPs and wearers expressed the same primary goals for their contact lenses:

ECP beliefs

In both Japan and Italy, the top 5 benefits named by ECPs who recommended 1 Day SiHy to their patients were all related to 2 primary benefits:

Contact lenses Comfort performance
Contact lenses Oxygen permeability (and related health benefits)

Wearer beliefs

Answers mirrored those of ECPs when asked to name the most important factors in choosing a contact lens:

75% said all day comfort
62% said eye health


  • ECPs should recognize that cost does not feature as a barrier as often for their patients as they may think.
  • ECPs and wearers are looking for similar benefits in a contact lens.
  • Even those who haven’t worn contact lenses before expect and want lenses that provide all day comfort and promote eye health.
  • ECPs believe in the benefits of 1 Day SiHy but need to recommend the lenses more consistently.

Best practices


Articulate the benefits of 1 Day SiHy lenses in terms that patients relate to. Key phrases such as “eye health” and “all day comfort” should resonate well with potential wearers and help them understand the value of the technology.


Train practice staff to 3 share these simple, clear messages (“eye health” and “all day comfort”) about the benefits of 1 Day SiHy.


Focus on education and making a professional recommendation, not on selling. Patients appreciate that ECPs have their best interests at heart.


Sources of information

ECPs and wearers are both inclined to seek out more-informed opinions when they look for information about 1 Day SiHy lenses.


ECPs look especially to sales reps, but they also rely on information they get from conferences, journals, trade magazines and colleagues.


Wearers most commonly look to online reviews or manufacturers’ websites for information about 1 Day SiHy contact lenses.

Best practices


Stay up to date about the range of 1 Day SiHy lenses by gathering information from a wide range of reputable sources.


Provide information on practice websites, along with links to other high-quality, consumer-facing content.


Above all, make sure practice staff are knowledgeable about contact lenses and comfortable talking to patients about them. It may be especially helpful if staff have at least tried contact lenses themselves, so they can talk about firsthand experience.


ECP/patient communication

Nearly half of surveyed patients said they’d requested a specific contact lens brand from their ECPs. But ECPs estimated that only about one fifth had made such a request.

ECP beliefs

In response to, How often do wearers request a specific contact lens brand?

ECPs said:

About 20% of the time

In response to, Do those who ask receive that particular lens?

ECPs said:

Yes, 72% of the time

ECPs may find it useful to take a moment longer to check whether new contact lens wearers have a preferred lens they would like to ask about.

Wearer beliefs

When asked, Do (or did) you request a specific contact lens brand?

45% Yes 55% No

Wearers often miss out on the important information they need to make educated decisions.

ECP beliefs


of ECPs feel strongly that they should discuss high oxygen delivering materials like silicone hydrogel with patients.

Wearer beliefs

only 20%

remembered being told about ONLY good oxygen permeability (and even fewer remembered hearing about any other benefits)

Wearers also displayed significant gaps in knowledge about the features and advantages of 1 Day SiHy lenses:

Only 51% were aware of SiHy

Only 34% said they preferred SiHy

Though all 149 surveyed consumers were wearing 1 Day SiHy:
Only 33% knew they were wearing them
65% (in Japan) thought they were wearing neither hydrogel nor SiHy

Best practices


Be sure to clearly and repeatedly talk about the benefits of 1 Day SiHy lenses in terms that resonate with patients. Emphasize eye health related to oxygen delivery, and comfortable lens wear, to help them understand the value of the technology.

Final thoughts

These new insights confirm that ECPs believe in the benefits of 1 Day SiHy, but highlight that they don’t always recommend them.

Consumers who’ve never worn contact lenses before still have expectations and are looking for comfort and eye health, so reinforcing that 1 Day SiHy can deliver these benefits will resonate with them.

Remember that it is not about being a “salesperson,” but rather about making a professional recommendation and focusing — throughout all the touchpoints of your practice — on education.

Since patients appreciate that you have their best interests at heart, and understand the benefits they can receive from the lens technology you fit them with, you’ll enable many more new wearers to experience the benefits of contact lenses.

References: 1. Morgan P, Woods C, Tranoudis IG, et al. International Contact Lens Prescribing in 2019. Contact Lens Spectrum 2020;35:26-32. 2. Orsborn G, Dumbleton K. Eye care professionals' perceptions of the benefits of daily disposable silicone hydrogel contact lenses. Contact lens & anterior eye 2019;42:373-9. 3. CVI data on file, 2019. Basis. Migration from FRP to DD. Surveys conducted online in Q1 2019 in Europe (France, Germany, Italy, Spain) and the US. 75 eye care professionals (ECPs) in each European country, with French sample weighted to 75; 150 ECPs in the US, plus 500 consumers in each of Germany, Italy, Spain and the US who had switched from FRP to DD in the last 6 months, or who were open to using DD in future. 4. CVI data on file, 2017. Barriers to 1-day silicone hydrogel online research. July 2017. Cello Health Insight. Survey carried out online in US (n=61), UK (n=47) and Japan (n=50). 5. CVI data on file, 2020. Cello Health Insight online survey; Italy n=50 & Japan n=50 - ECPs who prescribe 1 Day SiHy. In. 6. CVI data on file, 2020. Cello Health Insight online survey; Italy n=100 & Japan n=49 - New Wearer patients wearing 1 Day SiHy. In. 7. Jones L, Walsh K, Willcox M, et al. The COVID-19 pandemic: Important considerations for contact lens practitioners. Contact lens & anterior eye 2020. 8. Orsborn G, Muraoka T. Japan ECPs’ Perceptions About 1 Day Silicone Hydrogel Lenses. In: BCLA Asia. Singapore; 2018. 9. CVI data on file, 2018. YouGov online survey on silicone hydrogel lenses. N=1520 adult CL wearers (US 519, UK 501, Japan 500).