New Contact Lens Technology Could Help You This Summer
Bright days in the sun might be a bit easier to experience for contact lens wearers this summer thanks to new technology.
“Acuvue Oasys with Transitions are the newest lens on the market, and they use a light gradient technology to intelligently alter the brightness of the light that enters the eye,” said Avera Medical Group Eye Care Optometrist Paul J. Draayer, OD. “Most patients we’ve had say they have to compensate less to deal with bright lights when they wear these compared to other lenses. They seem to create a more comfortable vision.”
The lenses block 99% of UVA and UVB rays, and Draayer said this can help protect the corneas.
“It may also prevent cataract formation, since the lenses do darken, which is noticeable, but the effect seems fairly minimal unless you’re outside on a very bright day,” Draayer said. “The other nice thing is that these lenses block approximately 15% of the blue light that enters our eye, which is really helpful for computer users.”
Helpful Part of Protection
The new lenses do not replace sunglasses; instead they are a useful accessory to help with overall comfort in the face of bright or blue light. Like sunglasses, sunscreen is important, and contacts and lotions can be a tricky mix.
“Sunscreen users may find single-use contact lenses as a good option because when sunscreen gets on a contact lens, it’ll cause blurring and discomfort,” said Draayer. “If you’re able to discard the lenses that were smudged, you’ll likely be better off.”
Since the technology for contacts has evolved so much in the last decade, there are other approaches beyond the transitions Draayer mentioned.
Since the technology for contacts has evolved so much in the last decade, there are other new contact lens advancements entering the marketplace beyond the transitions Draayer mentioned.
“Bausch & Lomb has a new Multi-focal Toric lens that corrects astigmatism and provides visual improvement for both distance and near,” he said. “These contact wearers may be able to see at all distances with both eyes without having to wear reading glasses.”
Enhancements in Comfort
Additionally, Alcon makes a water gradient contact lens called Dailies Total One and they offer a comfort other lenses do not.
This water-gradient contact lens is made up of about 33% water at its center, and the water content increases as it moves outward to the lens edge until it reaches nearly 100%.
“Lots of dry eye sufferers prefer this lens, and it comes in spherical and multi-focal varieties,” he said. “Dry-eye sufferers also like using scleral contact lenses, which are large, rigid lenses that cover the corneal surface with saline solution. It creates a uniquely comfortable experience, and they have been really popular with astigmatism patients as well.”
Draayer said that while scleral contacts have received some increased attention, more eye-care professionals have found they’re useful for many patients who cannot get comfortable vision correction with other contact lenses.
Beyond lenses, noted improvements in contact lens solutions are also in the marketplace.
“We’ve seen a new multi-purpose contact lens solution that cleans contacts as well as the hydrogen peroxide contact lens solutions without having the sting that can come when you don’t soak your contact lenses long enough,” he said. “This new product is called Blink Revitalens, and our patients have raved about it.”