A monthly disposable lens is made of a special type of material that is designed to last longer before wearing out. You might find a monthly lens to be thicker than other lenses by a small amount. This allows the lens to make it through the normal handling and day-to-day wear for an entire month. At the end of about 30 days, monthly lenses do not perform as well visually and can be noticeably less comfortable due to the absorption of allergens from the air and preservatives found in contact lens solution.
Daily or 1-day lenses are made of a thinner material that is designed to last for one day. Although the material does not last as long, it can be made thinner, which provides exceptional comfort and clarity each day. Visual performance and comfort are dramatically reduced after the first day of wear. These are designed to be discarded every day.
Daily contact lenses have the advantage of being the most comfortable and the most hygienic - meaning you have very little chance of getting and eye infection or inflammation if worn properly. Less handling of the lenses and daily disposal makes this lens ideal for allergy sufferers, athletes, kids and those who are new to contact lenses.
Not having to use cases or solution and the extremely low incidence of infections or other problems make this my first lens choice for patients wanting contact lenses.
Almost everyone comments on how comfortable they are compared to 2-week or monthly wear lenses. Most people who switch to daily contact lenses do not switch back.
With daily lenses, you get 365 lenses per year. With monthly lenses you get 12 lenses per year. Having more lenses will cost somewhat more, but when you factor in manufacturer’s rebates and not having to purchase contact lens solution or cases, it can be similar to the cost of monthly or 2-week lenses. For part-time wearers, daily contact lenses make the most sense because you can purchase a smaller supply of lenses without having to purchase solution. And every time you want to wear your lenses, be it every day or once in a while, the lens is fresh out of the pack and feels great.
There are a few designs for specialty wear lenses like toric or multifocal designs in daily lenses. This makes is convenient for even trying weekend wear contact lenses.
Higher amounts of astigmatism may be difficult to fit in daily disposable lenses. Asking your doctor is the best way to find out if you are a candidate.
Right now my favorite lenses are Dailies Total One, Acuvue Oasys 1-Day, and BioTrue One day. There are a few differences between these, and I tailor the lens selection based on the patient’s lifestyle needs and eye measurements.