Whenever it comes up in conversation that I am an optometrist, one of the most common questions I will get asked is, “Are my contacts good?”
To which I will respond, “Well, what kind of contacts do you wear?”
And this is where I get all sorts of funny responses. “Oh I wear the ones you can wear for 30 days”, or “the ones you can wear for 2 weeks… but I usually stretch them out to 3”, or “Acuvue Oasys” because everyone seems to think that’s what they’re wearing. For the most part, I assume the question is really prompting to find out whether their current contacts are the latest and greatest. So are they?
I’m a huge supporter of daily lenses. These are contacts that you wear for 1 day and then discard. There is no fuss with cleaning, storing, or keeping track of the number of days that you’ve worn them. Not only is the convenience a great factor, it's also very healthy. It might be kind of weird to think of it this way, but if you think of contact lenses like underwear, isn’t it nice to have a new fresh pair on every single day?
I think it’s fair to say that one can truly feel the immediate difference when putting on a new lens fresh from the blister packet vs re-wearing a pair of old lenses. (Love your eyes, people! Treat them well!)
So, why doesn’t everyone get dailies then?
Common opposition to dailies:
Cost: Dailies cost more than bi-weekly & monthly modality lenses.
Yes, this is true. It does cost more, though part of the cost is offset by not needing to purchase storage solution and cases. (See chart below) Also, the manufacturers mail-in rebates on 6-month and year supplies helps to close the gap a bit.
As you can see the cost difference on a full year supply is noticeable, but keep in mind that not everyone wears contacts on a daily basis. Some only wear them for sports or special occasions and one or two 90 packs might last a whole year.
Environmental impact: Daily disposables lead to more waste in the environment.
Research has shown (AAOPT) that among conventional wear, monthly wear, and daily wear lenses, the amount of waste generated in 1 year is much higher for conventional wear, followed by dailies, and lastly monthly lenses.
A year’s supply of dailies will produce about 3 lbs of plastic, metal, and paper trash, compared to 2.5 lbs for monthlies. So while the argument is not necessarily wrong, the amount of waste generated is insignificant compared to the total amount of garbage produced by the average American.
So in conclusion, there really is no excuse to not give dailies a try (Why not?). There are all different types of daily lenses to choose from. We’ve got you covered whether you’re nearsighted, farsighted, have astigmatism, or if you’re an emerging presbyope. Talk to your eyecare provider to see if there is a fit for you!
Thanks for reading.