Daily disposables are single-use contact lenses. With this type of lens, you use a fresh pair of contacts every time you put them in and throw them out every time you remove them. Daily disposable contact lenses are really convenient, as they don’t need to be cleaned or stored overnight, and they also come in a handy blister pack of individual lenses in a saline solution.
Whether you’re new to using contact lenses, or you already wear contacts and want to switch to daily disposables, we’ve rounded up all the information you’ll need to help make your decision of daily contacts easier.
How different are daily contact lenses from regular lenses?
The main difference between these two types of contact lenses is how much care is needed to maintain their use. Regular, monthly lenses need to be stored and cleaned properly overnight before their next use. Alternatively, once-daily contact lenses have been worn, they should be disposed of and replaced the following morning.
Can you use daily contact lenses for more than one day?
Daily contact lenses should never be reused. Once the blister pack is opened, the lens should be immediately applied to the eye. Once you have worn the lens, it should be removed and thrown away.
You should not store daily disposable contact lenses overnight and re-use them, as doing so could put you at risk of developing eye infections.1
How long can you wear daily disposable contact lenses?
Most people wear their daily contact lenses safely and comfortably for 10-12 hours a day. Your optician will be able to recommend how long you should keep your lenses in, depending on what’s best for you.
Wearing your contact lenses for longer than advised can result in redness, discomfort, and an increased risk of infections. It’s also important to remember that daily disposables are not designed to remain in your eye during sleep, and doing so can significantly increase the risk of infection.2
How do you store daily contact lenses?
You won’t need to clean or store your daily contact lenses overnight, as they are thrown away after each use. Each contact lens comes in a small blister pack which keeps the lens submerged in a saline solution until it’s ready to use.
People who wear daily disposables usually won’t receive instructions on cleaning and storage from the optician as it won’t be required. Storing and re-using contacts with improper disinfection techniques increases the risk of contamination and eye infection.
What are the benefits of daily contact lenses?
Most people love their ‘dailies’ for their convenience. With daily disposable contact lenses, you don’t need to worry about cleaning or storage, and travelling is made easier as you don’t need a contact lens solution. After wearing them, you simply remove the lenses, throw them away, and open a fresh pack the next time you wear them. You’re also far less likely to forget when to replace your contacts, as can happen with longer-wear lenses.
Daily disposables also offer eye health benefits. A fresh lens has a smoother surface and is gentler and less likely to irritate the eye. Also, replacing the contacts every day reduces the chance of harmful bacteria collecting on the lens.3
Discover our range of Daily Contact Lenses here
Daily contact lenses for astigmatism
If you have astigmatism and want to wear contacts, you could benefit from what’s called toric lenses to correct the problem. You can get toric lenses as daily disposable contact lenses. These daily lenses for astigmatism provide crisp, stable vision and offer you the convenience of a single-use contact lens.
Multifocal (varifocal) daily contact lenses
Multifocal contact lenses (also called varifocal or progressive contacts) are prescribed for people who need a boost in vision for close-up tasks. You can get daily disposable multifocal contact lenses, and enjoy the convenience and eye health benefits of ‘dailies’.
What is the difference between hard and soft daily contact lenses?
Soft contact lenses are probably the best choice for you if you intend to wear contacts intermittently or on special occasions. If you have dry eyes or sensitive eyes, soft lenses are easy to adjust to, offer greater comfort, and are gentler on the eyes.
If you are looking for daily lenses that are cost-effective and durable, rigid gas permeable (hard) contacts may be your best bet. After the initial period of adjustment, you will benefit from less involved lens care and better lens performance in the long term due to reduced deposit build-up. If your optician has specifically advised you to wear one type of lens over the other, it’s important you follow their advice.
What are soft contact lenses?
Soft contact lenses are made from a flexible plastic material that is hard when dry but becomes soft when hydrated. The soft, pliable material makes the lens easy to adjust to and very comfortable to wear. Soft lenses can be worn daily or casually, including only on special occasions. Lenses made from newer materials such as silicone hydrogel allow more oxygen to pass to the cornea of the eye: this ‘breathability’ provides increased comfort.
What are the benefits of soft lenses?
Soft contact lenses are the most commonly used type for several reasons, including:
- They are made from a flexible material that conforms to the shape of the cornea when properly fitted
- There is a shorter initial adaptation period for new users
- They offer greater comfort, even during initial use
- Soft lenses are ideal for intermittent users (those who use lenses casually rather than every day)
- They are less susceptible to dust and other foreign objects becoming trapped under the lens
- They are less likely to fall out of the eye and are ideal for playing sports
- Soft lenses are not as light-sensitive as hard lenses
Despite the advantages of soft contact lenses, they may not be suitable for everyone. They tend to be less durable than hard contact lenses and have a tendency to dry out in hot and windy conditions, which can cause discomfort.
What are gas permeable contact lenses?
The original hard lenses were made from Perspex - a material that's impervious to oxygen and so limited the supply of oxygen to the surface of the cornea. These hard lenses are rarely used today and have been replaced by slightly more flexible rigid gas permeable (RGP) materials.
Gas permeable contact lenses (or hard contact lenses) are rigid lenses but made of durable plastic material. Newer RGP materials transmit more oxygen to keep the cornea healthy. However, these types of contact lenses require a longer initial adaptation period: that is, it takes up to four weeks to get used to wearing them and to become comfortable.
You need to wear hard lenses consistently for them to remain comfortable, and if you take an extended break from using them, you may need some time to re-adapt. Hard contact lenses are typically considered less suitable for playing sports as they are more easily dislodged from the surface of the eye. Also, the likelihood of foreign objects such as dust becoming trapped under the lens is higher than with soft lenses.
What are the benefits of hard contact lenses?
Rigid gas permeable contact lenses have several advantages, including:
- Made from durable materials, less likely to tear
- Resistant to deposit build-up, providing crisper, clearer vision
- Longer-lasting, therefore cheaper than soft contacts
How much are daily contact lenses?
Prices vary with the brand and type of lens. As a guideline, the cost typically ranges from £24 to £55 per month for 30 pairs. Multifocal and toric lenses tend to be a little more expensive than daily single-vision contacts. The annual cost of daily contact lenses ranges from £192 to £660 per year. Some brands require a minimum purchase of three boxes.
Specsavers’ daily contact lens prices depend on the type of lens. These include single-vision contact lenses, multifocal contact lenses and toric contact lenses, along with a range of brands to choose from. Talk to our optometrists about which one will work best for your prescription and lifestyle.
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Order daily contact lenses online
You can view the full range of daily contact lenses online here and order online. Still not sure which type of contact lens might be best for you? Book a consultation with one of our friendly Specsavers opticians today.
- Boost M, Poon KC, Cho P. Contamination risk of reusing daily disposable contact lenses. Optom Vis Sci. Dec;88(2):1409-13. [Online]. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/p... [Accessed 25 September 2019].
- The Guardian. (2014). How safe are contact lenses? [Online]. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/li... [Accessed 25 September 2019].
- Moorfields NHS. (no date). Your contact lens questions answered. [Online]. Available at: https://www.moorfields.nhs.uk/... [Accessed 25 September 2019].