Water gradient tech, high-tech materials, and new therapies offer more options.
Over the past few years, the contact lens market has seen new product innovations and unique modalities. It can be a challenge to stay current on these innovations, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic where fewer face-to-face meetings, interactions, and conventions have taken place. Keeping up with the latest advancements in contact lenses ensures clinicians are practicing in a modern way to deliver the best patient care possible.
TOTAL30 (Alcon): A monthly replacement lens launched in August 2021, this lens is made of lehfilcon A, has a Dk/T of 154, and uses water gradient technology to ensure patients are still comfortable wearing the lenses at the end of the 30 days. Alcon’s water gradient technology mimics the epithelium glycocalyx to keep water content toward the lens tear film interface. The lens has an 8.4-mm base curve, 14.2-mm diameter, and the following parameters: –0.25D to –8.00D (0.25D increments), –8.50D to –12.00D (0.50D increments), +0.25D to +6.00D (0.25D increments), and +6.50 to +8.00D (0.50D increments).1
Precision 1 and Precision 1 for Astigmatism (Alcon): A daily disposable lens made of verofilcon A with a Dk/T of 100, both the spherical and toric lenses use Alcon’s water gradient technology for 100% surface water content. The toric version utilizes the precision balance 8|4 design for stability. The sphere version has an 8.3-mm base curve and 14.2-mm diameter. Its parameters are –0.50D to –6.00D (0.25D increments), –6.50D to –12.00D (0.50D increments), +0.50D to +6.00D (0.25D increments), and +6.50D to +8.00D (0.50D increments). The toric version has an 8.5-mm base curve, 14.5-mm diameter, and parameters that cover 94% of patients with astigmatism.2
Dailies TOTAL1 for Astigmatism (Alcon): Using Alcon’s Water Gradient Technology and precision balance 8|4 design, this daily disposal lens compromised of delefilcon A material. The lens has an 8.6-mm base curve, 14.5-mm diameter, parameters of +4.00D to –8.00D sphere and –0.75D to –2.25D cylinder, and multiple axis choices.3
INFUSE (Bausch + Lomb): A daily disposable silicone hydrogel lens of kalifilcon A material with a Dk/t of 134 the proprietary combination of ingredients, inspired by the Tear Film and Ocular Surface Society Dry Eye Workshop II report. The lens has an 8.6-mm base curve, 14.2-mm diameter and parameters ranging of +6.00D to –6.00D (0.25D steps) and –6.50D to –12.00D (0.50D steps).4
Biotrue ONEday for Astigmatism (Bausch + Lomb): A daily disposable lens made of nonionic hydrogel material (HyperGel) to maintain moisture for up to 16 hours, this lens is marketed to be “inspired by the biology of your eyes,” according to Bausch + Lomb, and has an 8.4-mm base curve and 14.5-mm diameter. The parameters are –9.00D to –6.50D (0.50D steps) and –6.00D to +4.00D (0.25D steps) with cylinder powers of –0.75D to –2.75D.5
Biofinity XR Toric (CooperVision): Although not a new lens, recently the parameters of this contact lens were expanded. This monthly replacement lens made of comfilcon-A material has a Dk/t of 116, 8.7-mm base curve, and 14.5-mm diameter. Parameters now extend from +10.00D to –10.00D (0.50D steps after +/-6.00D), and cylinder powers range of –2.75D to –5.75D with an axis of 5° to 180° (5° steps).6
Acuvue Oasys Multifocal (Johnson & Johnson): A well-known 2-week replacement lens is now available in a multifocal design. The lens is made of senofilcon A and has an aspheric center to deliver pupil-optimized design. The lens has a Dk/t of 147, 8.4-mm base curve, and 14.3-mm diameter. Parameters range from –9.00D to +6.00D (0.25D steps), with ADD powers in low, mid, and high.7
Acuvue Theravision with Ketotifen (Johnson & Johnson): This lens was FDA approved in March 2022 and is indicated for prevention of ocular itch due to allergic conjunctivitis (although not for active infections). It is the first lens to correct vision and simultaneously relieve ocular allergic itch. It is a daily disposable contact lens with the same material as the 1-day Acuvue Moist Contact Lens and contains 19 mcg of antihistamine ketotifen, which is an H1 histamine receptor antagonist. Johnson & Johnson states that patients wearing this lens get relief from itching in as quickly as 3 minutes after insertion and that relief can last up to 12 hours. The lens has an 8.5-mm base curve, 14.2-mm diameter, and parameters ranging from –0.50D to –6.00D (0.25D steps) to –6.50D to –12.00D (0.50D steps).8
Acuvue Oasys Max 1-Day (Johnson & Johnson): A daily disposable contact lens designed to provide all day comfort and visual clarity for the patients with digital device use, this lens will be available in fall 2022 in both spherical and multifocal parameters.9
MyDay Multifocal (CooperVision): A daily disposable silicone hydrogel lens designed to offer multifocal solutions for patients. The lens has a Dk/t of 80, 8.4-mm base curve, and 14.2-mm diameter. Parameters range from +8.00D to –10.00 (0.25D steps) to –10.50D to –12.00D (0.50D steps).10
SimplifEyes 1 Day (SynergEyes): Enhanced by dual tangible polymers and aspheric optics, this daily disposable contact lens has a Dk/T of 32. The lens has an 8.6-mm base curve and 14.2-mm diameter, and parameters of –0.50D to –6.00 (0.25D steps), –6.50 to –10.00D (0.50D steps) and +0.50D to +4.00D (0.25D steps).11
Myopia is a growing epidemic. In 2000, nearly 1.4 billion individuals were myopic, and it is projected that by 2050 this number will grow to be 4.7 billion. High myopia is coupled with an increased risk of retinal detachment, cataracts, glaucoma, and myopic degeneration.
Soon, optometrists will be expected to manage this growing epidemic rather than just correcting for it visually. With many options already on the market to treat myopia, here's a few that were introduced more recently.12
Paragon CRT and Paragon CRT Dual Axis (CooperVision): Available as of this year, this lens is worn overnight to reshape the cornea and is considered a Class III device. The lens design and lens material are approved by the FDA for overnight wear. The Paragon CRT parameters correct up to –6.00D sphere with up to 1.75D cylinder, and the Paragon CRT Dual Axis corrects up to –6.00D with up to 1.75D of astigmatism.13
Euclid Max: Launched in 2021, this is an orthokeratology contact lens indicated for myopia management. It has the highest Dk/T (180) of any overnight US orthokeratology brand.14
Acuvue Abiliti Overnight Therapeutic (Johnson & Johnson): This is an orthokeratology lens for myopia management. Different than Johnson & Johnson’s Acuvue Abiliti 1-Day soft therapeutic lens, this lens is worn overnight to reshape the cornea. It is available in both spherical and toric designs.15
Many contact lens companies are partnering with nonprofit organizations to promote eye care and leave a positive social footprint in today’s world.
Johnson & Johnson is partnering with Sight for Kids to underwrite free comprehensive eye health exams for children when an annual purchase of Acuvue Abiliti lenses is made.
CooperVision has partnered with Plastic Bank to produce the first plastic-neutral contact lens. For every box of Clariti 1-Day distributed in the United States, CooperVision has promised to fund the collection, processing, and reuse of the plastic waste that is equal to the weight of the plastic in Clariti 1-day lenses and packaging.
Bausch + Lomb has partnered with TerraCycle to recycle all blister packs and contact lenses. Practices can list their location as a recyclable drop-off location on Bausch + Lomb’s website.
Contact lenses have expanded to offer benefits besides vision correction.
One of these innovations is Triggerfish (Sensimed). Triggerfish is an FDA-approved contact lens that measures IOP for glaucoma management. This soft lens is made of a hydrophilic hydrogel material and monitors changes in the curvature of the cornea by utilizing a strain gauge in combination with onboard microelectronics. The lens can be worn for 24 hours, and the intraocular pressure data is transmitted to a computer using Bluetooth technology.
Although this technology currently is being used only for research, this innovation allows investigators to study factors such as medication, circadian rhythm, and body position on IOP. It also creates a future for other contact lens modalities.16
Another innovation in contact lens modalities that is coming down the pipe is ocular drug delivery. MediPrint Ophthalmics (formerly known as Leo Lens Pharma) is focusing on ocular drug delivery via continuous medication delivery by using a noninvasive contact lens. It combines vision correction and drug delivery to create sustained therapy without preservatives that can be harmful to the ocular surface. The company’s research is focused on areas of myopia, dry eye, allergy, glaucoma, and post-cataract surgery treatments.17
With the innovation of new products and modalities, the future of contact lenses is exciting. These advancements elevate eye care and ensure patients have options to maximize their vision and keep their eyes healthy.