Thursday, June 20, 2013

DAILIES TOTAL 1 : A Review by a Contact Lens Cynic

Package as photographed by me
Maybe it is my relative youth in the world of optometry, but trying out a new contact lens product still really excites me.  For the past few months, I have heard a constant buzz about Ciba's new daily lens material that is being used in the freshly launched in America DAILIES TOTAL 1.  The product is a water gradient delivery system, (for more information read here) that aims to prevent the contact lens from pulling water from your eye to stay hydrated, the culprit causing end of day dryness in so many contact lens wearers.

Whenever anyone tells me they have the newest, latest greatest anything, I am always suspicious.  When Ciba declared this lens "a game changer"  it sounded to my skeptical ears like a product destined to flop.  When I saw the packaging (it looks like a toothpaste box) and saw the obnoxious ALL CAPS in the nomenclature, it grated on my contact lens critic nerves.  But Ciba is on to something with this lens.  My rep for the company kept telling me that frequently when someone puts on the lens in front of him, they say they can't feel it.  So I decided to test drive it for myself.  I put the lens in.  I tried to feel it.  I really did.  But Ciba won round one:  I could not even really convince myself that the lens was on my eye without looking in the mirror.  It was that comfortable.
Come on, you know you are thinking toothpaste too

I also have to admit that I am a tough critic for more reasons than just my skeptical nature.  I have very dry eyes with contact lens wear, and I typically wear my glasses 5 days a week, as much for comfort as for style.  I have only a few products that I really swear by.  Avaira is the only multiple wear product I can stand on my eye for longer than a few hours.  Proclear 1-Day used to be my lens of choice for comfort, but about 12-14 hours in, I would have to manipulate the lens under my eyelid to try to relieve dryness, or use a re-wetting drop.  Then I discovered Acuvue 1-Day Moist.  This has been my favorite product for nearly 2 years.  I wear this lens comfortably late into the day and on airplanes.  But I still find I get issues with comfort and lens awareness around that 14 hour mark.  The DAILIES TOTAL 1 is the first contact lens that I have worn where I really didn't get lens awareness until close to 16 hours into the day.  I was able to wear them with acceptable comfort all the way to the 18 hour mark.   I really didn't even start feeling like I had a contact lens in my eye until 6-8 hours of wear had passed.  And did I mention that some days I was wearing this lens under exceedingly poor circumstances?  I have a lot of grass and pollen allergies that typically make my lenses feel like steel cages in my eyes after being outdoors for a few hours, but the Dailies TOTAL 1 still felt comfortable after spending 4 hours outside.  I am a contact lens cynic, and the type of patient that typically finds no true satisfaction with contact lens wear, and now I am a believer that we really do have a new product to offer patients that can truly help make their contact lens wearing life better.

Now is this lens perfect?  No, I still got a little dry and irritated towards the very end of my (very long) day.  But I was able to wear the lenses comfortably longer than with any other contact lens I have ever put in my eye.  I had good vision (I wouldn't say the clarity was a real remarkable point, but it was at least as good as any other daily lens I have been wearing over the past 3-4 years).  The major drawbacks are going to be availability and price. The lens is only available in minus spherical powers (no astigmatism, no multifocal, and no plus!) so only a certain population of patients will even be eligible to wear the lens.  Ciba does plan to utilize the science of their water gradient technology to expand into different lens types, so larger ranges of vision issues can benefit.  Price is going to be a huge factor, and like any premium product new to the market, it is priced accordingly.  You won't be able to find this lens for much less than $100 for a box of 90.  Compared with the price of even other dailies on the market, you will definitely be paying a premium to enjoy the extra benefits of this lens.

Take home points:

Try this lens if you feel like you have never really had a comfortable contact lens for one reason or another: dryness, lens awareness, redness, allergies.  This lens may be the closest thing available to solve your problems.
Try this lens if you want to see what the best contact lens technology for comfort on the market can provide.
Try this lens if you are a skeptic; maybe you might become a believer too!

Disclaimer:  I am in no way affiliated with Ciba and was not compensated for trying their product or writing this post.  

14 comments:

  1. I made the switch over to Dailies Total 1 and absolutely love them! My only concern is that they are not widely distributed at the moment and buying them from your eye care provider is VERY expensive compared to other daily lenses!

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  2. Price is definitely a premium with this lens and CIBA (the manufacturer) has done a very limited roll-out to keep prices competitive. At this point, the lens isn't available with companies that are only retailers (like 1-800 Contacts), and only with practitioners. In a few years, expect pricing to get more competitive as other companies rush to compete with new daily materials of their own. I wouldn't expect to find this lens much less than $100/90 pack for the near future.

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  3. We recently got these in Canada. I was given a sample set of five from my eye care provider. I was warned that I would love these as they are so much more comfortable. I rarely wear my contacts as it is these days as I am a stay at home mom now. Often when I go for any extended period of not wearing contacts they hurt/aggravate for the first few hours of wearing them. These didn't hurt at all! I wore them for nine hours after months of not wearing any and I had no complaint. My usual pair need to be rewet after only a couple of hours. I am floored by how amazing these are, but appalled by the price. I was even told they would be costly when I got the samples (about $800 a year) and after searching online I am saddened that the price wasn't far off nor could I find them online for any sort of discounted price. I am really hoping that next year after these have been out for awhile (and probably duplicated) they drop down in price some. I don't mind paying for the quality, but even my good benefits wouldn't cover half the cost.

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    1. Hi,
      I am wondering if you know where I could find these in Ontario? Also, do you know if the $800 for the year that you mentioned would be if you wore them daily/occasionally/or other? I am currently looking to switch from glasses to contacts (I've had contacts for a year supply before, though not very comfortable) but I'm trying to outweigh the benefits of these for the price I'd have to pay. Thanks!

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    2. Hi Kristen! I am not sure where to purchase these outside of the US but your optometrist should be able to help with local vendors. That $800 price tag is for an entire year's worth in both eyes. If you don't wear lenses every day expect a box of 90 to cost about $95. That may be enough to last all year if you wear them very infrequently. Hope this helps!

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    3. Hi Kristen. They currently sell them at the optical located inside Loblaws / Real Canadian Superstores and Costco. I purchased them earlier this week at Loblaws: 90 lenses (45 pairs - single eye prescription) for $90. They cost a bit more than the average daily lenses, but if you don't wear them as often and are looking for comfort and quality, these are a good fit.

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  4. I recently tried Ciba Visions Dailes Total 1 as a recommendation from my eye care Doctor. I have very sensitive, dry eyes, along with a small astigmatism in one eye, so I am very limited as to what contact I can wear. I have been wearing Accuvue's 'TruEye' dailes for about the last two years or so and have truely loved them. I tried the 'Dailies Total 1' just to see if they were any better than my current lens but they are not. The Acuvue 'TruEye' lens is far superior. I can wear the 'TruEye' lens longer, without drying my eyes, and I notice them a lot less at the end of the day. The 'Dailies Total 1' was fine for about the first 6 or 7 hours of wear, then they started bothering my eyes. I am going to stay with the 'TruEye' lens, for it is still the best lens on the market!

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    1. That's the great thing about seeing your optometrist and trying out new lens technologies-- there are so many new contact lenses, you won't know which one works great for you without experiencing them first hand! Every lens won't work for every person, so you have to have a great relationship with your doctor in finding the lens that makes you happy.

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  5. So I tried these at my last eye apt. and totally love them. Are they strictly one day wear? My doctor implied that it would be ok to wear the same pair for a second day if I stored and cleaned them properly.

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    1. Unfortunately they haven't been studied for longer than 1 day of use, so until they are FDA tested for such, I would advise against it. If you were to have any issues with infection or scar tissue formation, you wouldn't have any legal standing if you were overwearing the lenses past what the FDA has approved. I always side with the legal approval on these things.

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  6. I have been using Moist and recently tried Dailies Total 1. They did "feel" comfortable but at the end of the day I could not get them off my eyeball! I tried them for three days. I used moistening drops throughout the day, tried applying a moistening drop directly onto the lens before putting in my eye, on one occasion. The lenses would not come off my eyeball no matter what I tried... loads of drops, pushing them in every direction, pinching the lens, flooding my eye with saline solution... nothing worked! Well that is to say, nothing that was suggested to me worked. I had to resort to gliding my fingernail underneath the edge of the lens to peel them off. At least the Moist lenses will come off with only a few moistening drops. My vision is better with the Moist also.

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    1. You are not the only one that has trouble taking these out! The curvature of your eye and the moisture level of your cornea and eyelid just might not work well with this lenses makeup (chemically and curvature). A great example of how there is no 1 perfect contact lens that every nod can wear . I am glad you have had good success with Acuvue's daily!

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  7. I'm trying to understand what is wrong. Everyone seems to love these. I just tried them at the eye doctor and was given a few "samples" to take home. These do not feel at all comfortable and as one other person mentioned, are harder to remove from your eye. I still find the dailies aqua comfort plus works better for me.

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  8. Just remember, if 1 contact lens worked for everyone, they would only make 1 lens. It is great to try new things out to see if you can find something better, but don't get discouraged if you don't find these lenses to be your favorite. Everyone's eyes have a different shape and chemistry, and no one product is a cure-all! That's what your eye doctor is here for, trying new materials out and finding what works best for your eye's own chemistry!

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