Optometry Podcast: The Science of Contact Lens Comfort

This Podcast is in Partnership with Johnson & Johnson Vision

There’s a lot of science that goes into a contact lens, and we all know it’s more than clear vision that our patients need to be successful lens wearers. What are the main principles that make a comfortable contact lens?

  • Coefficient of friction
  • Edge design
  • Wettability
  • Modulus

We’re going to nerd out a little here. Let’s talk about something that I think is easy for doctors to explain to patients in the exam room – thin edges.

  • Acuvue 1 Day Moist and Acuvue Oasys 1 Day both have “invisible edge design” – a thin tapered edge that lets the eyelid glide right over as if nothing is there. This minimizes interaction with the eyelid

When you talk about eyelid/lens interaction, it’s the coefficient of friction that determines how easy it is for the eyelid to glide across

  • Studies show the lower the coefficient of friction, the better the comfort
  • Research shows Acuvue brand lenses have a consistently low coefficient of friction throughout an extended day of wear! In fact even after 18 hours, Acuvue Oasys 1 Day coefficient of friction was never more than that of the natural cornea.

Dryness is a HUGE issue right now with contact lens wear. And kids are experiencing dry eye at alarming rates with the increased screen time required in the past year. How are we addressing that in contact lenses?

  • Wettability of a lens – have to maintain wetting for both hydrophilic and hydrophobic portions of the lens material
  • Talk about what makes Acuvue lenses are different with Polyvinyl pyrrolidone/PVP

Last but not least, let’s talk Modulus. In my experience, this is an extremely important lens characteristic especially for new wearers like kids who might get easily frustrated with inserting and removing lenses, and give up before they even have a chance to enjoy contact lenses in their daily life.

  • Define modulus: measurement of how stiff a contact lens is; how resistant it is to deformation under tension
  • Stiffer lenses can create more mechanical resistance to the lid and cornea
  • Acuvue brand lenses have 2 very different options: Acuvue 1 Day Moist is a low modulus (38 PSI) lens versus Acuvue Oasys 1 Day is a 99

7. What’s the take-home for doctors who want to prescribe a successful contact lens right from the start, and educate their patients about why they’ve selected the lens they’ve chosen when patients are getting inundated with advertisements for dozens of different brand options?

  • A goal for every contact lens fit is to reduce on-eye friction and mimic the most natural ocular condition
  • Screen use is a major factor for contact lens discomfort: as digital device time goes up, blink rate goes down thus anything that preserves the tear film dynamic will be a benefit for vision and comfort
Drs. Glover & Lyerlyhttps://www.defocusmedia.com
Defocus Media is run by two successful Millennial optometrists and social media entrepreneurs, Dr. Jennifer Lyerly and Dr. Darryl Glover. They have proven track records of successfully engaging online readers and followers. They reside and practice in North Carolina.

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