An Overview of Silicone Hydrogel Contact Lenses
Once upon a time, contact lenses were made of glass. Over time, lens materials gradually got more eye-friendly but were still not too comfy - and drastically blocked oxygen, what your eyes need to stay fresh and healthy. Finally, in the late 1960's, there was a break-through: Soft gel-like plastics called hydrogels. Hydrogels are soft and comfortable and they are hydrophilic, meaning that they can hold a lot of water.
See, that's key because the water in the lens material helps transmit more oxygen, helping keep your eyes healthier and feeling better. As a result, hydrogel contacts became the standard. Then, Johnson & Johnson Vision Care revolutionized hydrogel lenses by introducing the first disposables. Today, hydrogel lenses still improve millions of lives every day.
So, end of the story? Not quite. Hydrogels work well but they still don't let your eyes breathe as easy as they'd like. High water content can mean a thicker lens for durability at the same time limiting the flow of oxygen. Which brings us to the 21st century and the next leap forward.
Silicone hydrogel allows a very high percentage of available oxygen to reach your eye, almost as much as without lenses. And its durability can allow the lenses to be thinner. To make them even more comfortable, some manufacturers combine the innovative material with an additional wetting technology. For lenses that stay ultra-smooth and wettable while transmitting all the oxygen your eyes crave. Clinical studies have shown that this can really make a difference and people enjoy improvements in comfort related measures versus their old lenses:
- Less surface abrasions of the cornea
- Less redness in the white of the eye
- Less redness between the cornea and the white of the eye
- And less redness throughout the eye.
For the ultimate in comfort and performance, ask your doctor for silicone hydrogel lenses:
Daily disposable silicone hydrogel lenses
- 1-DAY ACUVUE® TruEye from Johnson & Johnson
- ACUVUE OASYS® 1-DAY with HydraLuxe
- Clariti 1 Day from CooperVision
- MyDay Daily Disposable from CooperVision
- DAILIES TOTAL1 from Alcon
Weekly or monthly disposable silicone hydrogel lenses:
- ACUVUE OASYS®
- Air Optix Aqua
- Air Optix Aqua Multifocal
- Air Optix Night and Day Aqua
- Air Optix for Astigmatism
- Avaira Toric
- Biofinity Energys
- Biofinity Toric
- Biofinity Multifocal
- Purevision2 HD for Astigmatism
- Purevision2 HD for Presbyopia
- Purevision Toric
- Purevision Multifocal
- Soflens Toric
- Softlens Multi-Focal