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The Truth About Hubble Contact Lenses

  • Post category:health

While it might seem like you could save money by switching to a new online brand of contact lenses, you might actually be over-paying for a lower quality product. I’ve been reading a lot of misinformation on the web and in reviews of the product, so I’m here to address some of your concerns and help you separate the truth from fiction!

No offense Dr. Lee, but I want to skip the middle man
Contact lenses are MEDICAL DEVICES. They are not one-size-fits-all, and what works best for you might not work for someone else. When choosing a contact lens for you, I have to consider other factors aside from just the prescription, including the conversion from glasses to contacts, the material, the size of the lens, and the curvature.

One very important property of a lens material is oxygen transmissibility (Dk/t). This is a measure of how much oxygen can pass through to reach your cornea, while taking into account the thickness of the lens. Hubble contacts are made with an old material called methafilcon A, which has a Dk/t of 18.8. Research shows that a Dk/t of 24 is necessary to maintain cornea integrity and avoid swelling. This is why, as your Doctor of Optometry, I will choose to not sell certain products which can cause problems for my patients, despite being lower cost.

A quick search will reveal that other contact lens companies have offered this material in the past – It’s nothing new. A well-trained optometrist would not offer this to you now because of all the increased risks of side effects! Sometimes you need an experienced, educated middle (wo)man looking out for you 😉

They’re daily lenses, so they’re automatically healthier.
TRUE, sort of – Yes, daily disposables are more hygienic, but not all daily lenses are the same, which leads me to….

Contact lenses are one of those medical devices that (unfortunately) haven’t changed in eons
FALSE. There’s been a lot of changes in contact lens materials, including a whole new category material (silicon hydrogel), so now we can obtain Dk/t up to 156. More oxygen means much healthier corneas, and we see a lot fewer complications like swelling and neovascularization. There’s also many new lens designs, and more options available for people with high prescriptions or astigmatism. People used to have to stop wearing contacts in their 40s when they started needing reading glasses, but now it’s possible to keep wearing them with new multifocal technology!
If you were told in the past that you couldn’t wear contacts, ask your doctor about your options now, because so much has changed, even in the last 10 years!

Wearing old materials is like buying a computer with Windows 98…. It works alright, I guess… but Windows 10 is so much better!

But these lenses feel so comfortable!
These are high water content lenses, so they do tend to be very comfortable. They feel more flimsy, and they’re so thin when you take them out of the package… and thin means it’s better for your eyes, right? WRONG. Comfort isn’t always a good indicator of good fit, and also high water content doesn’t always mean more oxygen – but that’s a whole other topic (Guys, there are seriously so many better options out there!)
The problem with contact lenses is that you can’t “feel” a good fit. They are not like clothes. If your pants don’t fit, you know right away. However, contact lenses can sometimes FEEL great, but they may be too tight, which hinders circulation to your eyes. Even a lens in a good material can cause problems if it’s too tight.
One of the more serious contact lens-related threats to vision, aside from an infection, is neovascularization. Neovascularization is when blood vessels grow into your cornea (the clear part of your eye, where blood vessels do not belong), due to lack of oxygen.
Here’s a picture of corneal neovascularization, which used to be a really common problem with old contact lens materials.

Picture from Online Journal of Ophthalmology

This isn’t my patient, but I had one that looks just like this. Guess what? He doesn’t feel a thing. Over time, the blood vessels will continue to grow towards the center, which can cause irregularity in your cornea and impair your vision. In severe cases, this might require a corneal transplant.

Look, if you want to deprive your eyes of oxygen…. I have access to these old lens materials. I can order them, if you insist. But as your Doctor of Optometry, I do not offer sub-standard options. My patients deserve nothing but the best! 🙂

But I don’t want to come in every time I need more contacts….
Yes, it’s going to take a little bit more effort if you’re a new patient to the office, but it’s worth it to make sure your eyes are healthy and that you can continue wearing contact lenses long term. Once we have your lens design and fitting information on file, we can deliver your order to your doorstep after your yearly eye health exam. Shipping is free on your 1 year supply!

But these are so cheap!
This company doesn’t ship to Canada, but let’s compare prices. Their monthly subscription is $30 USD, or $264 USD for one year (currently $347 CAD).
If you want dailies, we have options with Dk/t ranging from 26 to 156. You can get a 1 year supply starting as low as $344 CAD, with our office discount and rebate programs (subject to change). There are tons of options though, so call the office to schedule an appointment and I can help you pick what’s right for you.
Furthermore, if you get your year supply from us, you’re covered for visits for any contact-lens related problems throughout the year. It’s like getting membership to our health plan! Also, within a whole year supply of lenses, chances are there might be one or two defective ones that might rip when you take them out of the packaging, so we can replace those for you, no problem (good luck getting replacements from online retailers). If you get your contacts elsewhere, contact lens-related visits are not covered by OHIP, so there is a charge for any problems throughout the year.

So this new brand isn’t really offering you anything new. They’re just trying to trick you into buying a sub-standard lens at inflated prices. If you were offered a first generation iPhone for $250, or the choice to pay an extra $50 for an iPhone 7 …. which one is the better deal?