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Comfortable Contacts: Water Gradient Lenses

Many people, at least one out of six or 44%, try to wear contact lenses, but opt to stick to just glasses because contact lenses are too uncomfortable for them to wear on a daily basis. Other contact lens wearers experience discomfort as well, but just consider the uncomfortableness they experience while wearing contacts as the price they must pay for the privilege to wear contacts over glasses. Fortunately, Alcon, a leading contact lens manufacturer, announced in March 2013, at the 90th annual SECO International meeting in Atlanta, that a new water gradient contact lens, the Dailies Total 1, that will be available later in the 2013. Keep reading below to find out why Alcon’s water gradient contact lenses may allow more contact lens wearers to enjoy the use of contact lenses.

Alcon’s Water Gradient Lenses Technology

Unlike other daily contact lenses on the market, the new water gradient lenses have a silicone hydrogel core. In fact, the core of the new contact lenses is an amazing 33% water. The hydrogel surface of the contact is more than 80% water, which is very similar to the natural water content of the eye. Since the contact closely mimics the cornea, the new lenses allow for a great deal of oxygen transmission, which results in added comfort for contact wearers. In addition to those perks, the lenses also have LightStream lens technology, which is “water loving” polymer chains on the surface of the contact. This technology reduces friction in the eye. Studies have shown that this combined technology minimizes interaction between the contact lens and the eye, which directly affects the increased comfortability of this state-of-the-art lens.

How Alcon’s Water Gradient Lenses are Different from Traditional Soft Contacts

Alcon’s water gradient lenses function much differently than traditional contact lenses. This is because traditional soft contacts utilize the same material composition and water content throughout the lens, which can lead to extreme soft contact lens discomfort. Alcon’s water gradient lenses have gradient transitions between water content and material composition, which makes them a much better choice in terms of contact lens comfort.

Water Gradient Lens Trials

April Jasper, OD, FAAO, and paid consultant of Alcon, used the water gradient lenses in her private practice for six months. According to Jasper, she was exceptionally pleased with the results of the new lenses. In fact, Jasper says she believes these new contact lenses from Alcon will be her first choice for any contact lens wearer. She says the only exception to that rule would be eyeglass wearers who cannot wear the new contacts due to a vision problem not addressed by the contacts.

Jasper says when she prescribed the contact lens to patients in her private practice she was amazed at the way wearers reacted to the lenses. She went on to say that many wearers, even new contact lens wearers, said they couldn’t feel the lens when they first put the lenses in their eye, and these same wearers still couldn’t feel the lens when it was time to take it out at the end of the day or night.

Water Gradient Lenses European Release

According to Richard Weisbarth, OD, FAAO, and Alcon Vice President of Professional Affairs, the new water gradient lenses are set to be released in March 2013. Weisbarth goes on to say that the release in Europe is doing fantastic so far, and he expects the upcoming UK and US releases to go just as smooth.

Why Alcon Developed Water Gradient Lenses

Erich Bauman, OD, FAAO, and Alcon/s Head of Vision Research and Development, explains that this new technology is Alcon’s biggest commitment to date to contact lenses. Weisbarth went on to add that Alcon has plans to release a whole family of water gradient lenses. The family of lenses would include Toric lenses, multi-focal lenses, and lenses with plus and minus powers. When the new contacts are first released in the US, they will not have any plus or minus powers.

The new water gradient contact lenses from Alcon have the potential to change who wears contact lenses. Contact lens wearers who have suffered from discomfort for years may finally find that they can enjoy wearing contacts without sacrificing comfort, and eyeglass wearers who believed contacts weren’t a possibility for them because of intense contact lens discomfort may find that they can wear contact lenses comfortably with Alcon’s new water gradient lenses.

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