|Package as photographed by me|
Whenever anyone tells me they have the newest, latest greatest anything, I am always suspicious. When Ciba declared this lens "a game changer" it sounded to my skeptical ears like a product destined to flop. When I saw the packaging (it looks like a toothpaste box) and saw the obnoxious ALL CAPS in the nomenclature, it grated on my contact lens critic nerves. But Ciba is on to something with this lens. My rep for the company kept telling me that frequently when someone puts on the lens in front of him, they say they can't feel it. So I decided to test drive it for myself. I put the lens in. I tried to feel it. I really did. But Ciba won round one: I could not even really convince myself that the lens was on my eye without looking in the mirror. It was that comfortable.
|Come on, you know you are thinking toothpaste too|
I also have to admit that I am a tough critic for more reasons than just my skeptical nature. I have very dry eyes with contact lens wear, and I typically wear my glasses 5 days a week, as much for comfort as for style. I have only a few products that I really swear by. Avaira is the only multiple wear product I can stand on my eye for longer than a few hours. Proclear 1-Day used to be my lens of choice for comfort, but about 12-14 hours in, I would have to manipulate the lens under my eyelid to try to relieve dryness, or use a re-wetting drop. Then I discovered Acuvue 1-Day Moist. This has been my favorite product for nearly 2 years. I wear this lens comfortably late into the day and on airplanes. But I still find I get issues with comfort and lens awareness around that 14 hour mark. The DAILIES TOTAL 1 is the first contact lens that I have worn where I really didn't get lens awareness until close to 16 hours into the day. I was able to wear them with acceptable comfort all the way to the 18 hour mark. I really didn't even start feeling like I had a contact lens in my eye until 6-8 hours of wear had passed. And did I mention that some days I was wearing this lens under exceedingly poor circumstances? I have a lot of grass and pollen allergies that typically make my lenses feel like steel cages in my eyes after being outdoors for a few hours, but the Dailies TOTAL 1 still felt comfortable after spending 4 hours outside. I am a contact lens cynic, and the type of patient that typically finds no true satisfaction with contact lens wear, and now I am a believer that we really do have a new product to offer patients that can truly help make their contact lens wearing life better.
Now is this lens perfect? No, I still got a little dry and irritated towards the very end of my (very long) day. But I was able to wear the lenses comfortably longer than with any other contact lens I have ever put in my eye. I had good vision (I wouldn't say the clarity was a real remarkable point, but it was at least as good as any other daily lens I have been wearing over the past 3-4 years). The major drawbacks are going to be availability and price. The lens is only available in minus spherical powers (no astigmatism, no multifocal, and no plus!) so only a certain population of patients will even be eligible to wear the lens. Ciba does plan to utilize the science of their water gradient technology to expand into different lens types, so larger ranges of vision issues can benefit. Price is going to be a huge factor, and like any premium product new to the market, it is priced accordingly. You won't be able to find this lens for much less than $100 for a box of 90. Compared with the price of even other dailies on the market, you will definitely be paying a premium to enjoy the extra benefits of this lens.
Take home points:
Try this lens if you feel like you have never really had a comfortable contact lens for one reason or another: dryness, lens awareness, redness, allergies. This lens may be the closest thing available to solve your problems.
Try this lens if you want to see what the best contact lens technology for comfort on the market can provide.
Try this lens if you are a skeptic; maybe you might become a believer too!
Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with Ciba and was not compensated for trying their product or writing this post.