Published in Contact Lens

What’s New in Soft Contact Lenses?

This is editorially independent content
8 min read
Discover the newest technology and improvements currently offered in soft contact lenses.
What’s New in Soft Contact Lenses?
I recently had a patient who was quite happy in their current daily disposable contact lenses ask, “Is there anything new I can try?” I love when a patient asks me a version of this question. It indicates that this particular patient might be an “early adopter,” someone who tends to embrace new technology before the rest of the general population. I’d also like to think my patients ask me this question because I have consistently offered them new and updated product options in the past.
One of the best things about the contact lens market is that it is always evolving and advancing. So, in the soft contact lens world, what are some of the newest and most exciting improvements and options we can offer our patients?

The value of daily disposable soft contact lenses

Daily disposable soft contact lenses continue to be increasingly prescribed by eyecare providers (ECPs) and embraced by patients, with almost 50% of all soft prescriptions being for a daily disposable option worldwide.1 This is likely, in part, due to the increased number of brand options, price points, and parameters available.

Outlining the choices for patients with astigmatism

Notably, in the last few years, Bausch + Lomb launched a new silicone hydrogel daily option called INFUSE®, and Alcon expanded their toric daily disposable options into two price categories by launching Precision1® and Dailies Total1® with astigmatic parameters. Both of these Alcon products boast the manufacturer’s unique water gradient material design, which enhances comfort and oxygen permeability.

With the continued expansion of the daily disposable category, for single vision soft contact lens wearers, there is almost no reason to not prescribe a daily disposable.

Nearly every parameter is now available for patients with spherical and/or mild to moderate astigmatic prescriptions in a daily disposable option. As well, most manufacturers offer daily disposable product options at various price points, making this modality more accessible to patients, regardless of budget.

What are my options for presbyopic patients?

Presbyopes present a challenge to ECPs because they have high visual and comfort demands. A daily disposable option is often the best for comfort, but it needs to be paired with excellent multifocal optics in order to satisfy the unique visual needs of a presbyopic contact lens wearer. With the expansion of daily disposable parameters, we’ve seen more presbyopic options in the multifocal category.
We know that presbyopes prefer multifocal designs to monovision options in most instances, so ECPs should strive to fit their presbyopes with a multifocal and daily disposable whenever possible.2,3
The ability of modern multifocals to correct vision at all distances for presbyopic soft contact lens wearers is continuously showing improvement. New multifocal options include CooperVision’s MyDay® multifocal, which launched with the largest range of parameters of any daily disposable multifocal option.4
This year, Johnson & Johnson Vision debuted 1-Day ACUVUE® Oasys MAX multifocal, which utilizes the pupil-optimized design initiated in 1-Day ACUVUE® Moist and improves the Oasys material’s ability to stabilize the tear film. This development was achieved with TearstableTM technology, including the OptiblueTM blue-violet filter to refine vision quality at all distances.5 These upgraded material and optical features are also available in a single vision option the ACUVUE® Oasys MAX.

Treating myopia progression with soft contact lenses

Interest in myopia management is also on the rise, and our product options and evidence to support the practice of controlling myopia progression keep improving. The FDA approval of CooperVision’s MiSight®, a daily disposable multifocal soft contact lens specifically for the management of myopia progression, was an exciting development in late 2019.6 Additionally, their power expansion to cover up to -10.00 D earlier this year allows ECPs to prescribe the lenses for even more patients.7
Visioneering Techonologies, Inc (VTI) also introduced the MyPath program, which provides educational resources for ECPs interested in initiating myopia management in their practice.8 While not a soft lens advancement, Johnson & Johnson Vision announced the FDA approval of ACUVUE® Abiliti, the first orthokeratology lens approved for myopia management.9

These FDA approvals add legitimacy to our practice of controlling myopia progression and ensure that there will be more developments in the years to come.

Going above and beyond

Even when our patients are “happy” with whatever lens brand or modality they are wearing, it is important to think about what new options have arisen since their last visit and what new products they may benefit from trying. We practice in a time when many “happy” patients feel like they can forgo their annual eye exam and order contact lenses online.

By offering these patients new options, updated products, and vision and comfort solutions to problems they may not even be aware they have, you impart extra value on their annual visit to your office.

Take the initiative–you don’t need to wait for an early adopter to ask you about what’s new in the contact lens world, you can make it a habit to offer the latest and greatest to every patient you see.
Financial Disclosure: Dr. Rueff is a Professional Affairs Consultant for Johnson & Johnson Vision, Inc.

References

  1. Morgan PB, Woods CW, Trounadis IG, et al. International Contact Lens Prescribing in 2021. Contact Lens Spectrum. 2022;37:32-38.
  2. Gupta N, Naroo SA, Wolffsohn JS. Visual Comparison of Multifocal Contact Lens to Monovision. Optom Vis Sci. 2009;86(2):E98-E105.
  3. Woods J, Woods C, Fonn D. Visual Performance of a Multifocal Contact Lens Versus Monovision in Established Presbyopes. Optom Vis Sci. 2015;92(2):175-182.
  4. CooperVision, Nov 2021. CooperVision Introduces MyDay® Daily Disposable Multifocal Contact Lenses in U.S. at 2021 American Academy of Optometry Meeting. [online] Available at: https://coopervision.com/our-company/news-center/press-release/coopervision-introduces-myday-daily-disposable-multifocal. Accessed 24 September 2022.
  5. Vision Monday. Sep 2022. Johnson & Johnson Vision Launches Acuvue Oasys Max 1-Day, a Contact Lens for "Digitally Intense Lifestyles". [online] Available at:
    https://www.visionmonday.com/launchpad/contact-lenses-1/article/johnson-and-johnson-vision-launches-acuvue-oasys-max-1day-a-contact-lens-for-digitally-intense-lifestyles/. Accessed 24 September 2022.
  6. FDA News Release. Nov 2019. FDA Approves First Contact Lens Indicated to Slow the Progression of Nearsightedness in Children. [online] Available at: https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-approves-first-contact-lens-indicated-slow-progression-nearsightedness-children. Accessed 24 September 2022.
  7. CooperVision. May 2022. CooperVision® Expands MiSight® 1 day to Cover Nearly 100% of Spherical Prescriptions for Children with Myopia. [online] Available at: https://coopervision.com/our-company/news-center/press-release/coopervision-expands-misight-1-day-cover-nearly-100-spherical. Accessed 24 September 2022.
  8. https://vtivision.com/practitioner/mypath/
  9. Johnson & Johnson Vision. Nov 2021. Johnson & Johnson Vision Announces FDA Approval of ACUVUE® Abiliti™ Overnight Therapeutic Lenses for Myopia Management. [online] Available at: https://www.jjvision.com/press-release/johnson-johnson-vision-announces-fda-approval-acuvuer-abilititm-overnight-0. Accessed 24 September 2022.
Erin Rueff, OD, PhD, FAAO
About Erin Rueff, OD, PhD, FAAO

Dr. Erin Rueff received her Doctor of Optometry degree from The Ohio State University (OSU) College of Optometry. Upon graduation, she completed the Cornea and Contact Lens Advanced Practice Fellowship at OSU. After fellowship, she continued at OSU as a clinical instructor and completed a PhD in Vision Science. In 2018, she joined the faculty at the Southern California College of Optometry at Marshall B. Ketchum University. Dr. Rueff’s research interests include contact lens discomfort and compliance. She enjoys teaching students in the clinic and classroom on contact lens and general optometry topics. Her clinical interests include multifocals, gas permeable and scleral contact lenses, keratoconus, and dry eye.

Erin Rueff, OD, PhD, FAAO
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