As the demand for digital device usage steadily increases in our daily lives, dry eyes are becoming an ever-increasing problem. Staring at monitors and screens causes our eyes to blink far less frequently, which causes our eyes to dry out faster than they should. Now add 12+ hours of contact lens wear in the mix, and you can be left with some serious discomfort.
Luckily, contact lens manufacturers are aware of this problem and have all been working hard to develop great contact lenses that are even comfortable for people with dry eyes. In this article, I will discuss my top monthly, bi-weekly, and daily pick for the best contact lenses for dry eyes.
Monthly Contact Lenses
When it comes to comfort in a monthly lens, there is simply no contest. ULTRA is the first monthly lens to hit the market since 2008. Prior to ULTRA, people wearing monthly contact lenses were wearing lenses that were over a decade old.
The ULTRA lens was designed specifically to solve the problem of dryness with contact lenses. It is revolutionary in design, in that is combines all the elements that make a contact lens breathable, with all the elements that make a contact lens comfortable. A decade ago, these two things came at each other’s expense. Lenses were either very breathable, but felt stiff and uncomfortable, or very comfortable, but not so breathable. Bausch + Lomb knew that for ULTRA to succeed they had to combine both. That’s why they spent years on research and development until they perfected it, and the resulting contact lens is truly phenomenal.
Acuvue Vita is Johnson & Johnson’s response to Bausch + Lomb’s ULTRA. Johnson & Johnson has long dominated in the realm of comfort, but they have never put out a monthly contact lens until Acuvue Vita.
Acuvue Vita utilizes brand new technology that they call HydraMax. Compared to it’s predecessor, Acuvue Oasys with HydraClear, HydraMax helps the contact lens material stay hydrated and comfortable for a full month without gradually getting dryer and scratchier as other brands do.
Also, Acuvue Vita is non-coated. That means that the properties that make this contact lens comfortable are found in the material of the contact lens itself. It does not depend on an exterior coating to keep it comfortable, which is good because those coatings tend to wear out by the end of the month.
Daily Contact Lenses
In the world of daily lenses, Dailies TOTAL1 by Alcon dominates the comfort profile. It is the newest daily lens introduced by the contact lens giant Alcon, and it came much to the relief of many dry eye sufferers.
The main difference between Dailies TOTAL1 and other daily lenses is the water content of these lenses. Water content is a property of contact lenses that characterizes what percentage of the contact lenses is water vs plastic polymer. If a contact lens has a very high water content, on one hand, it will be very comfortable, but on the other hand, it will be very flaccid and floppy and it won’t hold its shape well. If a contact lens has a very low water content, the lens will hold its shape well, but it will be stiff and uncomfortable.
Most daily lenses have a water content that is a compromise between comfort and stiffness. But Dailies TOTAL1 has the best of both worlds by being the only contact lens with a water content gradient. Alcon developed this lens to have almost 100% water content on the inner and outer surfaces so that you can barely feel it, while the center of the lenses has a water content that drops to 33% so the lenses can still keep its shape.
The way Dailies TOTAL1 contacts are designed is truly clever, unique and innovative, and for that, it has risen to the top of its class when it comes to comfort with contact lenses.
Although this lens shares its name with the bi-weekly lens Acuvue Oasys, the Acuvue Oasys 1-Day has very little in common with its bi-weekly namesake. The material is different, the replacement schedule is different, the lens treatments are different, the patented technology used to create it is different, etc.
Johnson & Johnson developed Acuvue Oasys 1-Day principally to deliver a contact lens with the smoothest surface possible. This allows wearers of Acuvue Oasys 1 Day to wear their contacts comfortably all day, regardless of whether you’re always in front of a computer, or constantly on the go. The advances in comfort and breathability in this lens are due to the patented HydraLuxe technology, which is currently unique to Acuvue Oasys 1-Day.
Bi-Weekly Contact Lenses
I have included Acuvue Oasys in this list not only because it happens to be one of the only bi-weekly lenses on the market, but because to this day it remains a very comfortable lens despite having been around for over a decade.
The main reason for Acuvue Oasys’ success over the years has been the combination of the material used (senofilcon A) and the Hydraclear Plus technology that coats it. Most contact lenses are treated with some sort of surface coating that’s designed to keep the lenses moist and prevent them from drying out over the course of the day. Hydraclear Plus does this exceptionally well. The fact that they are replaced every 2 weeks instead of 1 month also helps keep them feeling fresh and comfortable, though not as much as a daily lens would.
If you are dead set on staying in a bi-weekly lens, Acuvue Oasys would be your best option, but if you’re open to trying a monthly or daily lens, consider the 4 options above.
Where To Find The Lowest Contact Lens Prices
Once you’ve got a valid prescription from your eye doctor for the brand that’s the best fit for you, it’s time to start shopping around to get the best price for your contact lenses.
Here at Contacts Advice, I’ve made the process as simple as possible.
Since I launched Contacts Advice in 2015, my mission has been to save contact lens wearers as much money as possible. That’s why I find the lowest prices for every brand of contact lenses so that you never overpay for your contact lenses again.
What Can You Expect From Contacts Advice?
- Price comparisons at the top contact lens websites
- Lowest price found for every brand
- Weekly updates on all prices
Never overpay for contact lenses again!
P.S. I am happy to answer questions about optics, contact lenses, brands, and prices in the comments below, but I do not offer any medically-related advice. I recommend speaking to a licensed health care professional for all medical concerns.