For as long as we've been fitting contact lenses, the number one complaint has always been discomfort and/or dryness. So when contact lens companies make new lenses, they're always trying to make a new material or coating or technology that decreases dryness and therefore should increase comfort.
Before Acuvue even set out to make their new daily disposable lens, they decided to re-ask the question, "What is the number one complaint of contact lens wearers?". And they found that
tired eyes, not dryness, was the number one complaint. And more specifically, they found that it's not just the amount of time a contact lens is on that affects performance. It's changes in environment and changes in activity that negatively affects the performance of a contact lens throughout the day. So after we put a contact lens on in the morning and then decide to go out for a run, then take a shower, then check our smart phone, then get in the car to go to work with the AC on, then step out of our car into the heat, then enter our air-conditioned office, then proceed to stare at a computer screen, our eyes and contact lenses have been exposed to a number of different environments and activities before 9:00 a.m. So the R&D group at Acuvue was charged with creating a lens that not only addresses the
second most common complaint of dryness, but also the
number one complaint of tired eyes.
Not surprisingly, Acuvue decided to begin this process with a material containing the same base molecule found in their number one selling reusable product, Acuvue Oasys. Acuvue Oasys has been on the market for 10 years, and in every test that has been conducted that compares the comfort of reusable contact lenses, Oasys has never been beaten. Next, they decided to improve upon this base molecule by increasing the molecular bonding throughout the lens. For all of you non-molecular biologists out there (myself included), this is basically like increasing the thread count of sheets. As you increase the thread-count of sheets they become softer, more comfortable. This also decreases the adhesiveness of the contact lens. Think about Post-it notes versus duct tape. The adhesive material in Post-it notes has much more molecular bonding in it than the adhesive material in duct tape. Therefore Post-it notes are much less adhesive than duct tape. Why does this matter with contact lenses?!? Stay with me...
We blink 14
thousand times per day. Every time we blink, there is friction between our eye and the contact lens on our eye. The softer the lens, the less friction involved, the more effortless the blink, the more we reduce fatigue associated with contact lens wear. Phew....
So Acuvue has taken the most comfortable reusable lens on the market, made it
converted it into a daily disposable wear schedule so that patients are getting a brand new set of lenses every day. They've also made other subtle improvements as well. They've re-designed the packaging solution to make the lenses more comfortable out of the pack. In fact, Acuvue does not want you rinsing this lens
at all with multi-purpose solution unless absolutely necessary. The optic zone of the lens has been increased to optimize visual performance and the lens overall has been made slightly larger to improve fitting.
Thankfully we're one of the 60 out of 500+ practices in Orange County with a fitting set of these lenses so if you'd like to try them give us a call. As of now they do not yet come in astigmatism or multifocal designs but those are expected to launch in the next year or so. It looks like this lens isn't even up on the Acuvue website yet so if you have any questions about the lens itself or how it compares to a lens you might be wearing now, feel free to email Dr. Charlie Bittel at email@example.com.