Most ODs could list all the missing items in their contact lens supply line. They could construct a wish list of products they would like to see available in the future. On days when we find ourselves ransacking the contact lens trial room, ODs may think technology is moving too slowly. Perhaps it’s time for some needed perspective.
Considering it took over 400 years to get Leonardo da Vinci’s concept of contact lenses to materialize, it’s easy to see the speed at which the ophthalmic industry is introducing new technology and expanding the category.1
We have many forward thinking ODs in our profession who are not afraid to be the early adaptors, but the early adaption phase is over. It’s time for us to welcome a modality that will bring greater benefit to our patients, our practice, and our industry.
Previously from Dr. Brimer: Surviving allergy season as a contact lens wearer
Evolution of daily disposables
In the U.S. market, it took 16 years (1971 to 1987) to go from the first soft contact lens to a disposable soft contact lens. In 1996, the first daily disposable (DD) soft contact lens was introduced (Acuvue, Johnson & Johnson Vison Care).1
It took 31 years to make major advancements in oxygen transmissibility of the soft lens. In 2002, Alcon released the first silicone hydrogel (sihy) lens—Focus Night & Day.1
Eight years later, Johnson & Johnson Vision Care expanded the sihy technology to a daily disposable modality with Acuvue TruEye. In 2017, we now we have eight daily disposable sihy lenses on the market.
When put into perspective, the rate of advancement in DD contact lenses is encouraging. As long as we embrace the new generation of lenses currently available to us, the possibilities of future technologies are limitless.