Soft Contact Lenses

Soft Contact Lenses

Hydrogel and Silicone Hydrogel Lens General Considerations

The FDA gives each contact lens material a generic name. In general, all hydrogel and silicone hydrogel lens generic names end in the suffix “filcon” and all nonhydrogel lenses end in “focon.”

Hydrogel lenses are categorized into four groupings for purposes of evaluating effects of accessory products upon the lens material. Lenses with less than 50 percent water content are considered to be “low water” and the others are “high water.” Less reactive surfaces are termed “nonionic” and more reactive materials are labeled “ionic.” Silicone hydrogel lenses are low water.

Disinfection of hydrogel and silicone hydrogel lenses can usually be done safely and effectively by approved chemical or hydrogen peroxide systems. However, some Group 4 ionic polymers may react negatively with potassium sorbate- or sorbic acid-preserved solutions.

In the term Dk, D stands for diffusion and k for solubility. The oxygen permeability of hydrogel lenses is almost entirely the result of solubility and for GP materials almost entirely the result of diffusion. In silicone hydrogel materials, oxygen permeability is a combination of solubility and diffusion, with the larger amount from diffusion. That is, the hydrogel component in the formulation provides solubility and the silicone component provides diffusion. Each generic material below is accompanied by a representative Dk number.

A clinically useful approximation is to consider Dk values for hydrogel lenses in three groups:



It is also important to remember that Dk/t (central transmissibility) and Dk/t (average overall transmissibility) are dependent upon contact lens thickness configuration and are more important than Dk with hydrogel lenses. With silicone hydrogel contact lenses, Dk/t and Dk/t are more similar than with hydrogel lenses.

This table should assist you in identifying specific lenses in each category as related to disinfection and Dk; and it will also help you determine an appropriate mix of lens types for your practice.


Low Water (<50% H2O) Nonionic Hydrogel Polymers

tefilcon (38%) (Dk = 8.9)
• LL Bifocal

tetrafilcon A (43%) (Dk = 9)
• Preference
• Preference Toric
• Preference Toric XR

helfilcon A&B (45%) (Dk = 12)
• Continental Toric
• Flexlens
• Flexlens Toric
• Flexlens Aphakic
• Optima Toric

mafilcon (33%) (Dk = 4)
• Menicon

polymacon (38%) (Dk = 9)
• Alden Classic 38
• Biomedics 38
• Esstech PS
• Esstech PSD
• Esstech SV
• HD
• HD-T
• Horizon 38
• Ideal Soft
• LifeStyle MV2
• LifeStyle Xtra
• LifeStyle 4Vue
• LifeStyle Toric Bifocal
• LL-38
• Metrosoft II Multifocal
• Metrosoft Toric
• Natural Touch
• Occasions
• Optima 38
• Simulvue 38
• Sof-form II
• Soflens
• Soflens 38
• Soflens Multifocal
• Unilens 38
• Westhin Toric

hioxifilcon B (49%) (Dk = 15)
• Alden HP
• Alden HP Toric
• Aquaease
• Essential Soft Toric Multifocal
• Flexlens
• Quattro
• Satureyes
• Satureyes Toric and Multifocal

Note: All X-Cel lenses are available in helfilcon A, hioxifilcon A, hioxifilcon B, and methafilcon A.

Silicone Hydrogel Polymers

lotrafilcon A (24%) (Dk = 140)
• Air Optix Night & Day Aqua

lotrafilcon B (33%) (Dk = 110)
• O2Optix
• Air Optix for Astigmatism
• Air Optix Aqua Multifocal
• Ail Optix Aqua

galyfilcon A (47%) (Dk = 60)
• Acuvue Advance
• Acuvue Advance for Astigmatism
• Acuvue Advance Plus

narafilcon B (48%) (Dk = 55)
• 1-Day Acuvue TruEye

senofilcon A (38%) (Dk = 103)
• Acuvue Oasys
• Acuvue Oasys for Astigmatism
• Acuvue Oasys for Presbyopia

comfilcon A (48%) (Dk = 128)
• Biofinity
• Biofinity Multifocal
• Biofinity Toric

enfilcon A (46%) (Dk = 100)
• Avaira
• Avaira Toric

efrofilcon A (74%) (Dk = 60)
• C-Vue Hydravue
• C-Vue Hydravue Custom Toric
• C-Vue Hydravue Multifocal
• C-Vue Hydravue Toric Multifocal
• Intelliwave Aspheric
• Intelliwave Aspheric Toric
• Intelliwave Multifocal
• Intelliwave Multifocal Toric
• KeraSoft IC


High Water (>50% H2O) Nonionic Hydrogel Polymers

alfafilcon A (66%) (Dk = 32)
• Soflens Toric

omafilcon A (59%) (Dk = 33)
• Biomedics XC
• Proclear 1-Day
• Proclear EP
• Proclear Multifocal
• Proclear Multifocal Toric
• Proclear Sphere
• Proclear Toric

hioxifilcon A (59%) (Dk = 28)
• Alden HP 59 Sphere
• Extreme H2O 59% Thin
• Extreme H2O 59% Extra

hioxifilcon B (%) (Dk = )
• Intelliwave Aspheric
• Intelliwave Aspheric Toric
• Intelliwave Multifocal
• Intelliwave Multifocal Toric

hioxifilcon D (54%) (Dk = 21)
• Alden Toric
• Clarity H2O
• C-Vue Advanced Custom Toric
• Extreme H2O 54%
• Extreme H2O 54% Toric

nelfilcon A (69%) (Dk = 26)
• Dailies AquaComfort Plus
• Focus Dailies
• Focus Dailies Toric
• Focus Dailies Progressive
• FreshLook One-Day
• Synergy
• Triton

hilafilcon B (59%) (Dk = 22)
• SofLens Daily Disposable

acofilcon A (58%) Dk = (25.5)
• Flexlens Tricurve Keratoconus


Low Water (<50% H2O) Ionic Hydrogel Polymers

deltafilcon A (43%) (Dk = 10)
• Metrosoft

Silicone Hydrogel Polymers

balafilcon A (36%) (Dk = 112)
• PureVision
• PureVision Multi-Focal
• PureVision Toric


High Water (>50% H2O) Ionic Hydrogel Polymers

etafilcon A (58%) (Dk = 28)
• Acuvue
• 1-Day Acuvue
• 1-Day Acuvue Moist
• Acuvue 2
• Acuvue 2 Colours
• Acuvue Bifocal

focofilcon A (55%) (Dk = 16)
• Fre-Flex

ocufilcon B (53%) (Dk = 16)
• ClearSight 1 Day
• Continental
• Ocu-Flex 53

ocufilcon C (55%) (Dk = 16)
• UCL55
• UCL-Pediatric

ocufilcon D (55%) (Dk = 19.7)
• Biomedics 55
• Biomedics 55 Premier
• Biomedics Toric
• ClearSight 1 Day Toric

ocufilcon E (65%) (Dk = 22)
• Ocuflex 65

phemfilcon A (55%) (Dk = 16)
• Freshlook
• Freshlook Toric
• Freshlook

methafilcon A (55%) (Dk = 18)
• Alden Classics
• Alden Classics Toric
• Biocurve Advanced Aspheric
• Biocurve 1-Day
• Biocurve Toric & Sphere
• C-Vue 1 Day ASV
• C-Vue 55
• Elite AC
• Elite Daily
• Elite AC Toric
• Flexlens
• Frequency 55 Sphere & Multifocal
• HD2
• HDX2
• Horizon 55 Bi-Con
• Kontur
• LL 55
• New Horizons
• Safigel 1 Day
• Sauflon 55 UV
• Sauflon 55 Asphere
• Sof-form 55
• Vertex Sphere
• Vertex Toric

methafilcon B (55%) (Dk = 18)
• Frequency 55 Toric
• Hydrasoft Sphere
• Hydrasoft Toric

vilfilcon A (55%) (Dk = 16)
• Focus Monthly Softcolors
• Soft 55
• Soft 55 EW

Spherical Clear and Visibility Tint Disposable and/or Planned Replacement Hydrogels

Disposable and/or Planned Replacement Tinted Enhancer and Opaque Hydrogels

Toric Disposable and/or Planned Replacement Hydrogels

Multifocal Disposable and/or Planned Replacement Hydrogels

Daily Wear Spherical Clear and Visibility Tint Hydrogels

Extended Wear Spherical Clear and Visibility Tint Hydrogels

Therapeutic Spherical Clear and Visibility Tint Hydrogels

Aphakic Spherical Clear and Visibility Tint Hydrogels


A Growing Practice Is Built on Happy Patients

Joshua Marc Lahiff, OD

Garnering new patients through word-of-mouth referrals is more than a great marketing strategy—it is the key to success that endures the test of time.

Successful practices see more patients

Focusing your practice on getting new patients rather than dollars per patient is a more pragmatic—and preferable—business approach. This is true for any practice. In a 2009 study of independent practices, it was reported that the practices with the greatest gross revenue see three times as many patients as the average practice. Furthermore, there is little difference in the gross revenue per exam between rural and urban settings, small and large practices.1

Increased patient traffic and improved exam productivity have major impacts on practice revenue.
In fact, another 2009 study found that, on average, 52% of a practice's gross revenues come from exam fees alone.2 This constitutes nearly 2/3 of gross income.1,2

According to Dr Josh LaHiff, practicing optometrist in Cheyenne, WY, increasing patient traffic is all about providing patients with an outstanding experience:
“You want to be able to provide them [patients] with such an experience that they're going to invest more in your clinic.” Dr LaHiff should know. He sees at least 30 patients per day. Which is impressive considering there are 28 other eye care professionals in Cheyenne, a town with a population of only 50,000.

Success is built on a happy patient experience

Increasing patient traffic through referrals is often as simple as delivering excellent service and the healthiest products. “To be the best, you have to use the best. If you wow the patient, treat them like gold, that's how you really generate those referrals,” says Dr LaHiff.

That's why Dr LaHiff believes the most effective approach to achieving profitable, long-term patient relationships is to “do what's best for the patient, even if it may not be the most profitable option for the doctor initially, because it is what is right, and the profit will come as an annuity in return visits and the happiness of the patient.”

High patient satisfaction inside and outside of the practice is the most effective catalyst for generating new patients. This can be especially true for contact lens patients. A survey of 1086 patients found that those who are happy in their contact lenses are nearly 2x more likely to recommend their eye doctor than those who are unhappy in their lenses.2

ACUVUE® Brand—proven to keep patients satisfied

The proven method to achieve satisfaction is to use a product with consistently successful results. Dr LaHiff believes that, “When you use a product that you know is going to work time and time again, it cuts your chair time down and it's easier for you, your staff, and your patients to put them in something that's comfortable.”

ACUVUE® Brand delivers outstanding comfort and consistent patient satisfaction. In fact, 9 out of 10 ACUVUE® patients are satisfied in their contact lenses.2

And happy ACUVUE® wearers refer their eye doctor: 8 out of 10 satisfied ACUVUE® OASYS® Brand Contact Lens and 9 out of 10 1-DAY ACUVUE® MOIST® Brand Contact Lens wearers would recommend their doctor to others.2

According to Dr LaHiff, “The more you use a superior product, the better the experience is going to be for the patient.” And that's been a proven strategy for the success of his practice. ■

Joshua Marc LaHiff, OD, is a partner and practicing optometrist at Cheyenne Vision Clinic in Cheyenne, WY, and clinical instructor for the Illinois College of Optometry in Chicago, IL. He received his doctor of optometry degree with honors from the Pacific University College of Optometry in Forest Grove, OR.

Dr LaHiff is a member of numerous associations and serves as a speaker and professional consultant for several medical companies, including VISTAKON® Division of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc. He was compensated for this article.

References: 1. Management & Business Academy: Practice Profile Report, 2009. 2. Data on file. Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc. 2011-2012. ACUVUE®, ACUVUE® OASYS®, 1-DAY ACUVUE® MOIST®, and VISTAKON® are registered trademarks of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc.
© Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc. 2012. ACU-27967 April 2012

Special Design Spherical Clear and Visibility Tint Hydrogels

Daily Wear Tinted Enhancer and Opaque Hydrogels

Customized Tinting

Adventures In Color Technology, Alden Optical, Crystal Reflections, Custom Color Contacts, and Specialty Tint provide custom tinting of soft contact lenses for prosthetic and other uses. For specific information, call them. Their telephone numbers and addresses are listed in the company directory at the end of this booklet. Marietta Vision states that the Chromagen lens is available for certain color deficiencies. It has a 5mm to 7mm tinted optic zone and custom parameters. Call (866) 300-6257 for details.

Extended Wear Tinted Enhancer and Opaque Hydrogels

Daily Wear Toric Hydrogels

Extended Wear Toric Hydrogels

Daily Wear Multifocal Hydrogels

Extended Wear Multifocal Hydrogels

Multifocal Toric Hydrogels

Hybrid Soft Skirt/GP Center