New Contact Lenses for 2014

12:01 PM

With the start of 2014 there is so much to look forward to in the world of contact lenses.  Last year saw great improvements in the market place with the US launch of Dailies Total 1, Biotrue One Day, and the new Purevision 2 Multifocal contact lens.  All of these lenses have found steady use in my practice, and speak to the major innovation in the industry.

So what is on the agenda for contact lenses in 2014?  Here's a break down of the most buzzed-about lenses expected to launch this year:

Dailies Aqua Comfort Plus Multifocal and Toric
Why do spherical patients get all the perks?  No more is that the case, with great astigmatism and multifocal lens designs on the market for patients that have issues with dryness or allergies, are part time wearers, or just enjoy the convenience, comfort and health benefits of daily wear.  Ciba is using their same material from the popular Dailies Aqua Comfort Plus line in these new lens options.  The Dailies Aqua Comfort Plus Toric lens will replace their Focus Daily Toric offering, but offer wider parameter options and better comfort.  The plan is for them to be priced just below the Acuvue 1-Day Moist for Astigmatism lens that has topped the daily toric market the last few years.

The Dailies Aqua Comfort Plus Multifocal will utilize this same material, and the already successful Air Optix Multifocal design to bring distance and reading vision to the over 40 population.  This lens will be a direct competitor to Cooper's Proclear 1-Day Multifocal (the only other single-use multifocal lens on the market).  Cooper's product has been knocked for its limited near ability in older patients, so the new Ciba design should offer a bit more reading function.

These should be available nationwide at your optometrist's office in the very near future.

CooperVision's MyDay Daily
That's right, Cooper is launching a third daily lens option this year that features their new "Smart Silicone" design, a polymer that has a high Dk/t (100 with a -3.00 lens) but utilizes a lower silicone modulus.  Silicone has long been polarizing, offering high oxygen to the eye, but in many people causing poorer comfort since the lenses attract more lipid debris.  By lowering the silicone content, they hope to achieve the comfort of hydrogel lenses without the oxygen and water content loss.  The lens was launched in Europe in 2013 but will be making it's American debut this year.  The real perk is the power range being offered:  +6.00 to -10.00.  Lenses like Dailies Total 1 are still not offered in any plus power options, so having a new lens for hyperopes designed to combat comfort issues will be a useful option.

Menicon Miru 1-Day
Another new-comer to the American lens market is Menicon's new daily lens, using an HEMA/GMA-based material that is designed to molecularly immitate the mucus layer of the tear film in the way it bonds water.  The real seller for this lens is the packaging -- their flat pack design is only 1mm thick and stores the lenses so that they are always upright (taking away that annoying inside out contact lens issue).  Designed for Japan where the dailies marketplace is huge, this lens is targeted for easy travel, storage, and convenience. Where comfort is king in the States, I don't know how well this lens will perform, but the packaging concept is innovative enough for customers to take a second look.

              Very popular in Japan, the Miru 1-Day add features catchy, cute, and quirky marketing.

Air Optix Colors
Did you wear this contact lens?  Don't be upset when your
doctor tells you the bad news.  As of March 31st, 2013 production stopped.
There is no way to get this lens anymore.  Time to find a new product, and
unfortunately, the options are limited. via
Is this finally happening?? How many years have we heard about Ciba's launch of a better, healthier color lens option.  Word on the street is that 2014 is the year.  Finally, I may not hate color contact lenses so much.  Maybe.  But with Acuvue entirely discontinuing their color lines, and Freshlook options being pared down to minimum power availability, the color market is apt for the taking.  Will they offer an enhancer option instead of the usual opaques?  No news as to that, but all of the unhappy previous Acuvue 2 Enhancer wearers that are stuck without a tinted lens on the market place may still be without a new home.  If you apply to this category, Focus Monthly Softcolor is really the closest viable option without going to a custom tinted lens, and the patients that I have refit from Acuvue 2 Enhancers to Focus Softcolors have not been happy thus far. If you are reading this, Ciba, please make a subtle enhancer tint option in your Air Optix Color launch!!

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