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.  

28 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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    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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    2. These lenses are not made to be stored in solution, so "storing and cleaning them properly" isn't really an option. The water gradient is unique to this material and would be affected by being placed in solution for any period of time.

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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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    2. I am so glad to see this review. I received a sample pack of Dailies Total 1 from my eye doctor and loved them as well, however I am hesitant because this is in the same line as the Focus Dailies I wore a few years ago before switching over to B&L SofLens Daily. When I used the Focus Dailies, I had problems getting them off of my eye all the time. One contact even ripped in half when trying to get it out of my eye, which was a trip to the eye doctor and some prescribed eye drops. That is when I switched and was told that when a patient called in for an appointment for a lens issue (ripping, stuck in eye, whatever), their first question was, "Was it a Focus Daily contact lens?" I am fearful to get back into any "Dailies" lens and will probably stick to my B&L, even if they do feel a little dry after 12 hours of wear.

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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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  9. Been wearing these for 2 days and feel like i have no lenses in. I have been wearing lenses for 30 years. Gone now are my trusty old 1 day acuvue moist!

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  10. i just got a trial pack of these after having a bad experience with the regular dailies by ciba vision and WOW these lenses are amazing! i cannot feel them and have had no trouble getting them in or out. they do not dry my eyes out like most other contacts have. i'm so thankful for this new innovation, i thought i was going to have to give up on ever wearing contacts again. i'll be ordering some in for sure although my optometrist didn't tell me the prices which does scare me a little!

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  11. I see that Alcon still has no plans to release DT1 in plus powers:

    "Currently, we do not have any information about releasing the plus powers in the Dailies Total 1 lenses."

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  12. I ordered the Ciba Vision DT1 online but what I received instead was an Alcon brand. Also the captions on the boxes were different. The Ciba Vision caption showed "Breathable One-Day Contact Lenses" while the Alcon one shows "Water Gradient One-Day Contact Lenses". Is there a difference?

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    1. Ciba and Alcon are the same company, so as long as it says Dailies Total 1 it would be the same lens. Ciba is just the contact lens division within the Alcon ophthalmic drug company, which is itself just the eye division of the larger pharmaceutical company Novartis. Confusing enough, right?

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    2. Lol. Too many divisions, but makes sense now. Thank you for getting back to me.

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  13. Have been wearing contacts for 20 years w/o problems...always satisfied with my lenses. Used Acuvue almost exclusively. Tried DT1 for 6 months, because Optometrist recommended them. I felt like I was pealing a layer of eyeball off each time I removed the lenses from my eye. Not sure how I did it for 6 months! Though I was going crazy, as all the reviews were great. Glad to see that it isn't just me that had problems. Found a stash of left-over DT1 lenses in a drawer. Don't want to use them, but feel that tossing them would be a waste of money. They were so expensive! Tried Acuvue Trueye. Like them. They are comfortable, cheaper, and remove easily! Will be sticking with Acuvue.

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  14. They are comfortable lens and I couldn't really tell they were in my eyes until later in the day. But they did start feeling more like most other contacts I've worn after a certain amount of time. They were harder to grab to take out but never actually stuck to my eye.

    I stop wearing them because of the price fixing UPP mess and also for some reason I saw ghost type images a lot of the time, When I look down. It was like a double image but would correct itself usually if I blink more. I've read other comments about this happening with some people. Also up close vision was worse with them.

    But the way the major contact lens manufactures have come together and stopped online discounting on certain products, its big time price fixing with a monopoly. Plus class contacts as a medical device. I hope the US senate will actually continue looking into this and have more meetings about it. I know some states are looking into it also.

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    1. Definitely I am hopeful that we get better legislation for treating contact lenses like the medical devices they are-- that would mean better safety and hopefully better insurance coverage for all wearers. Retailers that make profits on contact lenses being sold in bulk always try to fight this type of legislation since they don't accept insurance payments so would be unable to sell contact lenses in the same way. The battle is ongoing and not likely to be soon resolved. The good news is that companies like CIBA are still working to bring new products to market despite the high competition so we can try new technologies and hopefully acheive better relief for contact lens wearers everywhere. I encourage everyone to try new products as they become available. This one may not be right for you, but there are so many great options coming to market every year, it is always worth exploring to make your vision and comfort better!

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  15. I just got a sample of the dailies total 1 today and now I am a little concerned with them sticking to my eyes as I have such trouble with dryness. Can you damage your eye by peeling them off?? The thought of that kind of scares me? What is a general rule of how many hours you should try wearing if it's been years since you last wore contacts?

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  16. These lenses are difficult for some to remove because they have such a low coefficient of friction-- your fingers may slide right over them. The good news is that this same characteristic makes them ideal for patients with dry eye. Your eyelids should glide right over them as you blink too! A good rule of thumb for first time wearers is shoot for 4-5 hours of wear on day one. Then add one to two hours every day until you have made it to a full day, typically 14-16 hours for contact lens wear. These lenses are the least likely lenses on the market to stick to your eyes before removal but are some of the hardest for people to grip to remove, so if you have to use too rough of an approach, you may inadvertently scratch your eye. Please let your doctor know if you are having difficulty so they can help, either with more removal training to make you comfortable or with a prescribed dry eye regimen to better help your eyes tolerate contact lens wear.

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    1. Thank you so much for the response!!! I appreciate your input!

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