CooperVision Discontinues Several Hydrogel Contact Lenses

7:00 AM

The world is moving to either single use or silicone hydrogel contact lenses, and CooperVision acknowledged that trend recently by announcing plans to discontinue some of its older hydrogel contact lens options. They cited a major movement in contact lens fitting trends in the first few months of 2014:  44% of hydrogel lens wearers were refit to silicone hydrogel lenses and 44% of multiple wear lens wearers were refit into daily disposables (data from CooperVision).  With so many options for better health and better comfort, the days of old hydrogrel lenses seem to be numbered with multiple companies restructuring their product lineups to ditch old materials in favor of healthier options.

I was surprised to see Proclear EP as a discontinued lens since I do find it effective for very early presbyopia, but full multifocal contact lenses are getting better at limiting distance distortion, and using a silicone hydrogel lens like Biofinity MF with low adds will give the added benefit of monthly lens wear and higher oxygen transmissibility.  via

The three lenses that are being discontinued are Biomedics 55 UV, Biomedics 38, and Proclear EP. As of 12/31/2014 trial lenses will no longer be available for order, and no boxes will be available to purchase in any of these lens products as of 10/31/2015.  Here are the recommended refit options for the products being discontinued:

Biomedics 55 UV and Biomedics 38 (also called Sofmed or Ultraflex):

  • to keep with 2 week disposal, refit to Avaira
  • to change to monthly disposal, refit to Biofinity
  • upgrade to daily disposable
Proclear EP (also called Biomedics EP):
  • change to monthly replacement Biofinity MF with low add
  • upgrade to daily disposable multifocal in low add
Lenses that are not included in the slated discontinuation plans include Biomedics XC, Vertex Toric, and Frequency 55 (Encore Premium).  These hydrogel lenses will likely have a limited future based on the trends CooperVision is citing as the cause of their decision since these lenses are also older hydrogel materials. Additionally all of those above products are not even listed on the CooperVision website as current products except by going to an "additional lenses" section.  It's not a bad idea to consider refitting patients wearing CooperVision's other older hydrogel lens materials as well to be proactive to possible changes in the near future.  If you have a patient with silicone hydrogel intolerance, Proclear Compatibles and Proclear 1-Day offer great alternatives (and they are listed on CooperVision's site as part of their product family which makes me feel comfortable that there are no plans to remove these lenses in the near future).

You Might Also Like

33 comments

  1. I currently have CooperVison Proclear EP +5.50 for both eyes. Which brand/type do I now switch to and what power?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would recommend trying the new Biofinity Energys lens. A little near boost like EP without compromising distance vision.

      Delete
    2. I was using Biomed 55 for almost 29 years and completely happy. Tried using the Infinity and a total fail. Couldn't see near at all. The doctor seems shocked that a mid 50s male doesn't need biofocals. Then tried 55 Premier Spherical. Not as comfortable and see worse. The doctor is boosting them .25 when my old ones were fine and prescription never changed for almost 30 years. This is horrible!

      Delete
  2. For me the transition is too drastic. When I move my eyes from near to far object I get blurred vision for a moment. Also, Biofinity lenses are way too thin. I wear make up and when particles of my mascara get on the lenses it is very difficult to clean them up (they roll into a tube shape on my finger) I never had this problem with Proclear; they held their shape very well. I feel desperate I will not find a good alternative to Proclear EP

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's too bad, there really aren't any similar options besides this. You can try an aspheric optic lens like Acuvua Vita (monthly) or MyDay (daily) and see if it gives you enough near range. Otherwise you're stuck with full fledge multifocals which will be much more drastic.

      Delete
  3. Thank you very much for your response. Could you please tell me if Acuvue Vita is the same as Acuvue 2. I have read good reviews of Acuvue 2; if I understand correctly they are made of the same material (hydrogel) as Proclear used to be, so they are not so thin as Biofinity.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Acuvue 2 is made out of a hydrogel material similar to Proclear, but it has no reading enhancement. I would expect you to get great comfort, but there is no near boost in that lens. Acuvue Vita is made of silicone hydrogel (not like Proclear) but most people do get a small near boost (not as much as Proclear EP) due to the aspheric optic design. So neither are perfect matches, but might be the best you can do.

      Delete
  4. This is very helpful. Thank you so much. I had a follow up appointment with my eye doctor yesterday (unfortunately before I could see your last response). He offered me Bausch Ultra instead of Acuvue for a two-week trial. He said he did not have Acuvue in stock and he never heard of Acuvue Vita, only Acuvue 2. In his words "these are the most abused lenses on the market" because people tend to wear them for more than two weeks.

    Bausch feels like an improvement compared to bifocals but I now have some discomfort reading up close. So I will talk to him about Acuvue Vita. Thanks again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome! Acuvue Vita is brand new- the first time Acuvue has launched a monthly disposable lens. You can check it out here: http://www.eyedolatryblog.com/2016/06/new-monthly-contact-lens-acuvue-vita.html?m=1

      Delete
  5. I currently use Proclear EP and am wearing my last pair.
    I had an exam this week and my RX has changed a little but I need to order new lenses and my new eye DR says I can switch to Proclear non EP but which ones are best for me? She was not very specific. I have a latex allergy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is no lens exactly like proclear EP on the market. Regular proclear sphere lenses will feel the same, but don't have the extra boost of reading vision that EP lenses had. Their new product Biofinity Energys has the extra near boost, but are made out of a different material (silicone hydrogel). To make the best recommendation your doctor would have you decide if you want to the lenses to feel the same or see the same as Proclear EP.

      Delete
  6. Hi!

    I have been wearing Proclear EP for a long time now. I can't see far away (I'm a -4.00). I also work at a computer for 11+ hours a day. When I went to the eye doctor last year, they said a have a very slight astigmatism. Not sure if that's why I was recommended to use Proclear EP. All I know is that they have worked perfectly for me. I am on my last pair. I am very stressed out and nervous and getting ready to go on a long vacation. I'm not clear as to whether I need a multifocal lens or not. Price is a concern for me. I was getting the Proclear EP for I believe $20 something a box. It seems multifocals are anywhere from $39 up to around $100 a box. Do not want to double my costs. Any advice/recommendations/suggestions/words of wisdom? I will be greatly appreciative. I am going to see an eye doctor tomorrow, most likely, but would like your thoughts first. I want something that functions the same, feels the same (or similar), and not too much of a cost increase. Thank you so much, in advance!!!

    J

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello! The most similar lens to Proclear EP visually on the market now is Biofinity Energys. It is not made out of the same material, but if you want a lens that feels the same and aren't as concerned with the vision aspect you can chose to use the other remaining Proclear products. I would recommend Energys as the best starting place since you can expect a similar visual design.

      Delete
  7. Thank you for your very informative blog! I found it recently when needing to try a new type of contact lense, as I have been using Biomedics 55 UV for many years. My new (her colleague is retiring soon) optometrist had me try the Ultra.

    They are awful for me. I was always aware of them on my eyes, and I had clouded vision and they seemed to dry out so quickly. One of my eyes would just tear up at random times, even after I had taken the Ultras out. Maybe I have an intolerance to the material?

    After 10 days I put my old Biomedics in and oh they feel so good. I am feeling in a panic and sure wish I had bought a 10 year supply....I have been wearing contact lenses since 1972, starting with hard lenses and have never had a problem with any of them before.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies

    1. Dr. LDecember 7, 2016 at 6:53 PM
      Hello! It sounds like you may be intolerant to silicone, but don't worry you have plenty of options. Proclear, Bausch and Lomb's Soflens, Acuvue 2, and various daily disposable lenses are all available without silicone. There are no discontinuation plans on any of these lenses at this time, but long term it's not a bad idea to get comfortable with the idea of daily disposable lens options. Companies may decide to discontinue their old, low oxygen contact lenses like what Cooper has done recently but we know dailies are here to stay due to the safety profile and low infection risk. It may not happen in the next 5-10 years, but it's likely the future of contact lenses based on what's happening in Europe and Asian countries already.

      Delete
    2. Hi Dr. L. Just wanted to give a little follow up. When I saw my optometrist, she said that the Ultra were covered with protein deposits (this was after only 3 days of wearing them), which is why my vision was clouded while wearing them! She admitted that with her patients who have tried the Ultra, there has only been about a 50 percent success rate.

      I have now been wearing the Acuvue Vita for about 2 weeks. These have been very comfortable for me and I am very happy with my vision through them. I am much relieved....

      Thanks for your help and informative blog.

      Delete
  8. Thank you for taking the time to reply to me, it is much appreciated. I have looked into the options you have listed and will discuss them with my optometrist this weekend. I noticed that the Proclear do not have UV protection, something that I have liked having over the years. Though I do have a good quality pair of sunglasses, it is extremely sunny where we live in the summer.

    My daughter was prescribed Air Optix at a young age and the doctor said he wanted her to have the high oxygen permeability. But he said I didn't need that, as I had worn contacts for so long, and even wearing 16 hours everyday they were always comfortable. She was very sensitive to the solutions and was on the 4th one, luckily she tolerated it; she is chemically sensitive to a lot of things in medicines.

    I had always been fine with all the solutions all my life, until I tried BioTrue which was a nightmare for me, felt like sand in my eyes. I was able to give the bottles away to my son to use.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Happy New Year!

    I came across this thread trying to dig up more info about Biofinity Energys. I gave them a try but I honestly can't tell the difference between them and the normal Biofinity lens, even though I am a heavy computer and digital device user. I've experimented with looking at my computer screen and then looking off-screen with both lenses but the vision remains clear and my eyes appear to recous instantly regardless of which lens I use.

    I'm wondering if I might be better served getting dailies instead with aspheric curves (like MyDay), while the touted near boost of the Energys is better tailored for those that have specific types of vision problems that a near boost would have a more dramatic impact on (such as those with presbyopia).

    Any insights appreciated!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Doesn't sound like you are needing a lens with a near boost if you can adjust just fine after focusing on the computer with the regular Biofinity lens. MyDay is also aspheric design but I wouldn't expect you to notice any vision differences versus the regular Biofinity. Just more comfortable!

      Delete
    2. Thanks for your response! I've been wearing aspheric lenses for a long time, Aquatech brands that I think is the rebranded version of the phased out Biomedics 55. Not a bad lens, they probably spoiled me because I have never noticed any distortions from computer usage or night time driving, BUT they do dry out quickly, (probably because I don't blink as much as I should when working with computers), and I think this has been a greater factor in eye strain than not having near boost. Can't wait to finally give dailies a try when my trials come in. Thanks again for your insights!

      Delete
  10. Hi

    I currently wear Frequency 55 Encore Premium monthly. I have been wearing these for many years. I am down to the last box and have been told Coopervision stopped manufacturing. I went to Eye Dr he gave me sample of Air Optix they were very uncomfortable. Can you recommend an alternative that were soft and thin like the Encore brand?

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi

    Me again. The contacts that have been disc are Vertex Sphere (Encore Sphere) not sure if these are the same as Frequency 55 from my last msg. I am looking for replacement similar to theses monthly.

    Thanks Jin

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Within CooperVision products Proclear (monthly) is most similar. Vertex is actually approved as a 2 week disposable lens due to its low oxygen transmission, so you'll probably feel most similar in 2 week lenses like Soflens 38 from Bausch and Lomb. The reason you didn't like Air Optix is because it's a silicone hydrogel lens and you've been wearing hydrogel lenses. Besides Proclear there aren't really any monthly hydrogel lensss out there, so 2 week and daily disposable will likely be the choices for you now.

      Delete
  12. My brand for over 15 years which I loved loved loved was vertex encore. (-8.50 in both eyes). Currently working with my eye doc and so far tried the air optic and not comfortable. I the "trying phase". What are some lenses equivalent to vertex encore. I wish I had bought more before they discontinued. Seems I will be experimenting with trial pairs for s few weeks. I'm active, summer a swimmer, and work on computer. Been wearing lenses for 40 years plus. Anyone please feel free to make suggestions as it seems I have to make them to my doctor so he orders me trials

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Within CooperVision products Proclear (monthly) is most similar. Vertex was approved as a 2 week disposable lens due to its low oxygen transmission, so you'll probably feel most similar in older hydrogel 2 week lenses like Soflens 38 from Bausch and Lomb or Acuvue 2 from Johnson and Johnson Vision Care.

      Delete
  13. I am having the same problem, the new range made my etes itchy and not comfortable at all. I was looking for the old ones but its not sold anywhere. Im in malaysia and i realised i dont have any good replacement until now. The discontinuation step is really really really horrible. And i dont know what to do. Could u suggest me some brand that might be suitable?

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hi,
    I have been wearing Vertex sphere by Coopervision for a very long time. BC-8.6, DIA-14.2 and PWR -8.00,
    Yes I know I'm blind! So here's the thing. My Dr. (who is a new Doc for me b/c I moved) wants me to switch to a higher power lense. I have done this in the past and just recently I tried it again and felt very uncomfortable, dizziness, headaches etc and it made my near vision bad. Right now my near vision is fine and I prefer not to mess with it! I am 40 so I know that will eventually be a thing. Long story short Coopervision stopped making that lense and to me it was by far the most comfortable. I didn't have a complaint about my vision. I passed my drivers eye exam b/c I had to get a new license moving here. So my ? is now what? Which should I try? This new Dr. has had me in one for astigmatism which I promptly gave right back they hurt so bad, another lense and now 1 day acuvue moist but the vision isn't as crisp as my vertex even though it's the same power. What gives? I am soo frustrated and need to order contacts asap and this Dr is awful!
    Please advise and many Thank you's!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't want to be discouraging, but there is no lens on the market that is identical to Vertex Sphere. Your best bet at future happiness is to not compare any new lenses you try to what you remember about that lens (I know it's hard!) and judge them by their own merit. There's no going back unfortunately. With that being said, I'd recommend trying the Proclear brand because it's the most similar lens to Vertex that CooperVision still makes.

      Delete
  15. Hi, I too used Vertex Sphere for years without problem until I hit 50 and my near vision became poorer. I've trialled MANY multi focal brands since with my doctor and the only brand that has been comfortable has been Biofinity multifocals however they do not make strengths in -25 increments above -6.00 and I require -7.25. Any suggestions please??? I'm desperate here! Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It depends! Sometimes in this case patients are happiest with a -7.50 in their dominant eye and a -7.00 in the non dominant. What you see out of the lens depends on how your brain is using the power profile, so this is just a starting place. All multifocal lens wearers compromise, so don't feel frustrated -- this happens to everyone! So many of my patients in lower power ranges could use a -2.13 for example, but no one makes that either.

      Delete
  16. Hi,

    Could you suggest what lens I could use as a replacement to Frequency 55? 8.7, 14.2, -2.25

    Thanks!
    Kerrie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The other monthly contact lenses still being made by CooperVision are Biofinity and Proclear. Those would be a great place to start!

      Delete