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Exploring the benefits of silicone hydrogel contact lenses

Clinical associate professor at the University of California, Dr Kathy Dumbleton, explores research findings comparing daily disposable hydrogel and silicone hydrogel materials

Kathy Dumbleton

Silicone hydrogel contact lenses provide a higher oxygen transmissibility rate than daily disposable hydrogel contact lenses, according to a Berkeley-based professor.

Clinical associate professor at the University of California, Dr Kathy Dumbleton, told OT that research has found that silicone hydrogel contact lenses offer patients more comfort than daily disposable hydrogel lenses.

Dr Dumbleton explained that oxygen transmissibility needs to be considered across the whole profile of a contact lens.

“The critical levels, centrally, have been reported to be 20 dk/t units and peripherally it’s 33 dk/t units. Currently, daily disposable hydrogel lenses do not meet these requirements across the entire profile of the lens,” Dr Dumbleton said.

“[With silicone hydrogels] we’re able to offer patients much higher levels of oxygen transmission and hopefully that equates to longer, more comfortable, successful contact lens wear for our patients,” she explained.

Dr Dumbleton shared that the benefits for handling is related to higher modulus compared to some hydrogel contact lenses, adding that ease of application is a major factor for successful contact lens wear.