One-day lenses: a win-win for patients and practitioners

I used to be known for getting people, who had never thought about contact lenses, to give them a try. That’s because I’ve seen how they can open up the world for people.
Anyone who needs help to correct their vision can wear contact lenses. Anyone. Whatever their age. And today, I’m pleased to see that more and more people are opting for contact lenses. Especially, daily disposables.

The industry is booming.

The latest data shows the market for disposable contact lenses is forecast to have an annual growth rate of almost 10%.1 In fact, daily disposables are expected to account for the highest growth rate across the whole lens market in the next six years.2

But what’s driving this growth?

From my point of view, contact lenses are a good, constant and steady stream of business for optometrists. They were also our lifeblood during covid when we prescribed next to no glasses (with the exception of the odd emergency). 
This was all thanks to eyecare plans that delivered contact lenses safely to people’s homes. Even outside of lockdown, these plans are an important opportunity for patient care, and I’d say that any optometrist that’s not doing this is missing a trick. Everybody understands Netflix or Amazon Prime. Ultimately, we are doing that for lenses. It’s just another subscription service for us to talk to our patients about. 

These convenient subscription plans have certainly contributed to the growth in the daily disposable market. There are also some other clear benefits to using one-day lenses, starting with giving each patient different visual options to suit their daily needs.

Patients have a multitude of visual options in their wardrobe.

One of the many great things about one-day lenses is that we can target prescriptions depending on a patient’s job and daily life. For example, one of my patients works in a stable. She loves lenses during the day (so she doesn’t knock her specs off), but at night, when she likes to sit and read, she gets marginally dry eyes, so she uses glasses. These are the options she’s chosen to suit her lifestyle.

Personally, I wear different lenses at different times of the day, changing the power depending on the task at hand. Recently on holiday, I wore lenses for skiing and changed to a different lens for working. 

Hygiene is another clear benefit of daily disposables 

Contact lens cases can act as ‘a reservoir for microorganisms.3 Contamination rates can be very high, reportedly up to 50%.3 Handling lenses can also increase the risk of contamination.4 And for patients who rinse reusable contact lenses with tap water, they could be increasing their risk of contamination.5

One-day lenses eradicate all of these variables, because the lenses are simply disposed of daily. There is, of course, still the concern that germs could be transferred from fingertip to lens, but Menicon has developed a breakthrough solution to this risk of contamination.
It has developed its Miru 1day silicone hydrogel daily disposables, which use Smart Touch™ technology, allowing users to remove and fit daily lenses without touching the inner surface of the contact lens. 

One-day lenses are better for the environment  

It may surprise some wearers to discover that something we throw away each day can be environmentally friendly. But it’s true. One-day lenses can actually be better for the environment than other eyecare solutions.
Waste generated from contact lens products is less than 0.5% of the total waste generated from everyday life.6 And waste from single use lenses is minimised because there are no lens care solutions.7 We're not putting bottles into the environment so, for sustainability, it’s easily arguable that one-day lenses are better. 

Certain contact lens manufacturers have also explored how to make daily disposables more sustainable. Because of these forward-thinking companies, we now have sustainably packaged one-day solutions, such as the Miru 1day Menicon Flat Pack. 

The packaging is so thin that it uses 80% less plastic compared to conventional blister packs. What’s more, the secondary packaging is produced by reusing 100% of plastics procured in the contact lens manufacturing process.  

So that’s targeted prescriptions, improved hygiene and more environmentally-friendly products.

In my opinion, one-day lenses are the gold standard. They’re better for my patients and the environment. 

When I speak to my patients about daily disposables, I simply say: ‘No one goes into a phone shop and says, ‘Can I have an iPhone 6’ please?’ They’d ask for the 14, because it’s the best one. So, when it comes to contact lenses, why would we give our patients anything less than the best option for them?
The lenses on the market today, particularly those from Menicon, are incredibly clever with their polymeric structure and incredible packaging that is so thin you can barely call it anything but magic. If a new patient comes to me, telling me they’ve stopped using their contact lenses, I know it’s not the lens at all. But their relationship with their practitioner.

Ultimately, uptake and success relies on us as practitioners 

At my practice, we see a lot of speciality patients from the local hospitals. Affording the time to really look at each patient’s prescription, and approaching them with care, means a great outcome for them and, ultimately, a better outcome for me as a practitioner.

As optometrists, we need to take the time to make sure we find the contact lens that’s right for each patient. This is important because the product can be key to the patient’s success, not only for its fit but its use.
Products like Menicon’s Miru 1day range with Smart Touch™ technology have packaging that’s easy to open. So, it’s easy to find and apply the lens, and this boosts patient confidence and encourages them to carry on using their lenses. 
We also need to make sure our patients feel supported enough – to commit to their one-day lenses and succeed. Only then can their contact lenses truly do their job.
And when they’re done right, one-day lenses are a win-win for everyone. 


Brian Tompkins


Brian Tompkins is an external expert and an experienced independent practitioner. He is also the owner of Tompkins, Knight & Son Optometrists in Northampton, UK. 

Brian is a BCLA past President and extremely proactive in fitting all types of contact lenses to any age and prescription. He feels that the market for contact lenses can be expanded to many more patients from children to presbyopes. 


  1. Globe Newswire, Insights on the Disposable Contact Lenses Global Market to 2027, accessed March 2023 
  2. Globe Newswire, Contact Lens Market will worth is USD 21.6 billion by 2029 & it will grow at a CAGR of 4.5% till 2029 : GreyViews, accessed March 2023
  3. Yvonne Tzu-Ying Wu et al. 2015  Contact lens hygiene compliance and lens case contamination: A review
  4. Szczotka-Flynn et al. 2012 Microbial Contamination of Contact Lenses, Lens Care Solutions, and Their Accessories: A Literature Review
  5. Tilia et al. 2014,  The Effect of Compliance on Contact Lens Case Contamination
  6. ReVision Opteometry, 2020. Are daily contacts bad for the environment? Accessed March 2023
  7. Eyecare Associates of Lee’s Summit, What’s the most environmentally friendly contact lens option? Accessed March 2023  


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