If you’ve followed me for a while, you know that my daily disposable contact lenses of choice are lenses with Water Surface Technology. I’ve talked about both PRECISION1® and DAILIES TOTAL1® in prior videos, and I personally wear PRECISION1 on a day-to-day basis. Precision1® is a new lens that is a more affordable answer for those who want to wear contacts but need the additional moisture that water-gradient technology provides. If you’re interested in top of the line contact lens technology that keeps your eyes hydrated but want them for a more affordable price, Precision1® is an excellent option .
But what if you or your patients prefer reusable contacts?
Well today, I’m going to tell you about TOTAL30®, a new Water Gradient monthly replacement lens that I’ve been fitting in my office for the past few weeks. In a segment of the market that hasn’t had meaningful innovation for years, this new contact lens is a very exciting addition, and I am thrilled to be sharing it with you.
You’ve made it to the eye school blog, with me Dr. D. I’ve recently partnered with Alcon, the makers of TOTAL30® which is the new contact lens that we will be discussing today. I’m so excited to share their new lens technology with you! These opinions are my own. As the owner of a private practice in a small town, it’s extremely important to me to fit my patients in lenses that work well and are comfortable to wear.
A First look at brand new contact lens technology!
I’m very intentional about the contact lenses I fit. Water surface lenses like Alcon’s PRECISION1 and DAILIES TOTAL1 have become a mainstay in my practice because of how different this technology is. In fact, DAILIES TOTAL1 was the first ever lens to leverage Water Gradient technology which provides a gentle cushion of moisture, which is really nice for maintaining comfortable wear throughout the day. However, not everyone likes wearing daily disposable lenses, or they might not be on budget. So, I’ve been waiting for this Water Gradient Technology to be available in a reusable modality and it’s finally here!
Before we get into why these lenses are a game changer, let’s talk a little bit about contact lenses past and present.
Prior to the 1970’s, contact lenses were “hard” and made of glass or plastic. But in the 70’s, we suddenly saw both the addition of gas permeable hard lenses as well as soft lenses. Soft lenses were reusable for more than one day and the plastics they were made of consistently improved through the 80’s and 90’s.
By 2002, silicone hydrogel, a more breathable material, dominated the market. In the 10 years that I’ve been practicing, companies focused more on growing their daily disposable lens offerings than innovating in the reusable monthly market. The introduction of TOTAL30® fulfills the unmet need of so many patients who still want to wear a reusable lens and are looking for something different.
In fact, in a recent Alcon survey, 75% of reusable lens wearers said their ideal experience is wearing a contact lens that “feels like nothing”, and that’s exactly where TOTAL30 comes in. Alcon describes them as, “TOTAL30® monthly replacement contact lenses are the first and only reusable lenses to incorporate Water Gradient Technology, which allows for nearly 100% water at the surface. This creates a gentle cushion of moisture to keep your lenses comfortable all month long.”
Now let’s talk about water gradient contact lenses
When I switch my patients to Water Gradient lenses, one of the first things they always say is, “These lenses feel like nothing.” That’s because the lenses are designed differently than others on the market, allowing wearers to experience the joy of nothing.
Traditional silicone hydrogel lenses are made of the same polymer material throughout the lens.
From the core or center of the lens, all the way to the outside that interacts with the patients’ eyelids and ocular surface, the material is fully silicone hydrogel . Now, each company will treat the lenses with different wetting agents, but as practitioners, we know that over the course of one month of wear time, some lenses become less comfortable.
Water Gradient lenses are unique and in a class of their own. They have a silicone hydrogel core, but also have a water surface that is permanently anchored to the core to create a gradual transition from the lower water content core to nearly 100% water at the surface of the lens. That’s why TOTAL30® is such an important innovation. The lenses approach 100% water at the outermost surface, so nothing touches the eye but a gentle cushion of moisture.
Most importantly, the lenses are adapted with CELLIGENT® Technology which combines a biomimetic surface and a unique lens chemistry to help resist bacterial and lipid deposits. So what is CELLIGENT® Technology? Well Alcon describes it like this, “CELLIGENT® Technology creates a protective layer that mimics the eye’s natural surface. This technology is unique to TOTAL30® contact lenses.”
Now that I’ve been fitting the lenses for a little while, I’d like to share some successes and a clinical pearl I’ve picked up in fitting the lens.
Clinical Pearl - Many times, my patients won’t mention that their lenses become less comfortable at 30 days because they think that’s just what’s supposed to happen. When I started asking specifically how lenses feel at the end of the month, I found an issue that I could potentially solve. Because TOTAL30® lenses “feel like nothing,” even at day 30, they really make a difference in comfort while wearing contact lenses.
I have really enjoyed being one of the first to have access to this new lens, because I truly believe it is a game changer. I hope you enjoyed learning about reusable contact lenses past, present, and future today, let me know in the comments below your thoughts on Water Gradient lenses,if you use TOTAL30®, and what your experience has been like, or if you, too are excited for a new option for your reusable patients.