Our newest doctor, Steven Turpin, OD, is an expert on contact lenses and related cornea issues and conditions. Recently, we asked him to provide insight on contact lens best practices based on his experience and research. His first and foremost piece of advice for a contact lens wearer is this: if you can, try switching to Dailies.
Here’s what he had to say:
Daily Disposable vs. Monthly replacement.
If you could only point to a single thing that separates very successful contact lens practices from the average, it would be the embrace of daily disposable lenses. Here are some examples why.
Ocular Health: Daily disposables have been repeatedly proven to decrease risk of microbial keratitis and sensitivity inflammation compared monthly lenses.
Convenience: Daily disposables eliminate need to handle and disinfect lenses. Approximately 99% of CL wearers care for their lenses incorrectly, increasing their risk for adverse events.
Increased Comfort: Material degradation and solution sensitivity, both factors that contribute to lens discomfort, are eliminated when a daily disposable is used instead of a monthly lens.
Environmental impact: We hear this concern a lot from patients and doctors. Fortunately, the waste products created from daily disposable lenses are actually less than that needed to manufacture disinfection solutions that are used with monthly lenses alone.
Cost to Patient: When cost of solution is included (just filling the case with solution–not rubbing or rinsing the lenses properly), the bare minimum for a year supply of standard monthly sphere lenses is about $250, slightly lower with a rebate. If the solution is used correctly (i.e. rinsing/cleaning as instructed) the total cost comes to about $285, rebate included.
For Dailies, the costs do appear to be much higher at first glance. A year supply of the average daily lenses is about $440 ($310 if you included the rebate). But compared to the regular monthly lenses (if the patient has been caring for their lenses correctly), you would pay only $25 more a year to wear daily lenses instead.
To Dr. Turpin, the advantages of daily disposable contact lenses vastly outweigh the disadvantages. The primary concern for most patients comes to cost, and as Dr. Turpin pointed out, the difference between regular monthlies and the lowest-costing daily lens is only $25 per year. For overall eye health and safety, consider trying daily disposables.