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Q&A On Daily Disposable Contact Lenses

Dr. O’Dowd Is Fuquay Eye Care’s Eye Doctor In Fuquay Varina, NC

After a comprehensive eye exam, you will need to have a contact lens eye exam & fitting to see which lenses are right for you.

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?

Every contact lens has an FDA approval for a specific wearing schedule. For example, a lens that has approval for daily wear only cannot be worn overnight. A lens that is supposed to be replaced every 2 weeks cannot be worn for 1 month. This is to optimize the success in wearing that lens safely for that period of time.

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.

Wearing schedule and replacement schedule are two different things. The wearing schedule means, “how many hours or days can I keep this lens in my eye before I must take it out and give my eyes a break.” The replacement schedule means, “when do I have to throw this lens into the garbage and put a new one in my eye.”

  • Daily wear means to wear the lens only during the day and not to sleep in it.
  • Extended wear means to wear the lens overnight.
  • Monthly replacement means the lens must be thrown away every month.

Are there advantages to single-use contact lenses?

The best thing about daily disposable contact lenses is that they are brand new, sterile lenses in your eyes every day. So there is less risk of developing complications, such as infection or allergic reaction, that you would get as compared to 2-week or 1-month replacement lenses.

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?

They are easy! They are super comfortable; most people will tell me that they can’t tell the lenses are even there. There is no cleaning or storing overnight. No more buying contact lens solutions!

Do you find that your patients express positive feedback about daily disposables, and what is it that they are most happy with?

Patients like it that daily disposable contacts are hassle-free. You open a new set in the morning, wear them all day, and throw them out at bedtime. How much simpler can it be?

Will it be more expensive for me if I need to use a new pair of contacts every day?

The net cost is about 80 cents to $1.00 per day, more for multifocal or astigmatism ones. They may cost the same or more than what you are currently spending but remember that you don’t need to buy contact lens solution anymore. My patients tell me that the convenience and safety of daily disposable lenses are worth the extra expense if there is one.

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?

I especially like to fit daily disposable contacts on kids, people who play sports, patients who have had complications while wearing other types of lenses, those with eye allergies, and those with dry eye. Furthermore, those who work in a dusty environment or those who do water sports will also love these lenses.

Are daily disposable contacts available for patients that wear specialty contact lenses?

There are now daily disposable contact lenses for those with astigmatism and those who need lenses for both distance AND near (multifocal lenses).

Is there anyone that is just not a candidate for daily disposable contacts?

Patients that have high prescriptions may find that the power needed is not available. Some eye conditions could also prevent a patient from wearing disposable lenses, or any lens, for that matter. It is difficult to say until we examine the patient and see what we are working with.

Is there any further information that patients should know about daily disposables vs. traditional, or reusable contacts?

Disposable lenses are generally thinner than the other lenses. They may feel flimsy on your finger but that thin profile is also what makes them so comfortable.

Once you get used to the comfort and convenience of the daily disposable lenses, you will not want to wear anything else.