Air Optix Review (Including Hydraglyde, Night & Day, and Colors)

Air Optix plus Hydraglyde Review

Are you having issues with your current contact lenses drying out by the end of the day? Do you notice deposits building up on your contacts throughout the month? If either case applies to you, ask your eye doctor about the Alcon’s Air Optix plus Hydraglyde contact lens! 

Released in the United States Market in 2016, this lens is working to replace its 2008 predecessor, Air Optix Aqua. The newer technology of Hydraglyde provides better comfort for longer wear and boasts a similar price point as Aqua. In this article, I’ll review Alcon’s Air Optix family of contacts, including the pros and cons of wearing these lenses.

RELATED: Learn About the Best Contact Lenses Currently Available

What is Hydraglyde technology?

The word “Hydraglyde” refers to Alcon’s new wetting agent that is not present in their previous Aqua design. This wetting agent draws moisture to the surface of the contact lens, allowing for better hydration and improved comfort. 

This unique moisture matrix technology, which is only available in silicone hydrogel lenses, creates a pocket of moisture that surrounds and inserts itself into the contact lens. This creates a water-loving (hydrophilic) barrier which provides continual hydration throughout the day.

Honestly, contact lens companies are constantly searching for new and innovative ways to increase patient wear time and overall satisfaction with their lenses. Improved moisture levels are pertinent to maintain comfortable contact lens wear, especially in a society that is so dependent on device use. 

Increased screen time decreases blink rate and increases complaints of dryness, therefore requiring that our contact lenses stay moisturized to help combat this dryness. Alcon’s Hydraglyde material is their newest technology designed to help prevent this moisture-loss and improve lens wear time, not only with device use but for adequate all-around comfort as well.

RELATED: Bausch + Lomb Ultra Review

Air Optix plus Hydraglyde Technology
Source: Alcon

What else is new about Air Optix plus Hydraglyde?

In addition to the Hydraglyde moisture matrix, this lens also has a SmartShield technology that was not available in the Aqua design. This SmartShield helps to prevent deposits on the surface of the lens. 

If you have ever closely examined your lenses, particularly if they start to feel irritating or are at the end of their wear schedule, you may see some small, white bubbles that have formed on the surface. These are called deposits and can greatly affect your comfort and vision by negatively altering your lens surface. 

Alcon’s patented SmartShield technology helps to prevent these deposits by creating a super-thin shield that decreases the number of silicon atoms exposed on the outer layer of the lens. This helps prevent the development of deposits, and since silicone is water-adverse (hydrophobic), the fewer atoms there are on the surface, the wetter that surface will stay. 

RELATED: Acuvue Oasys 2-Week Review

Powers, availability, and more

Air Optix plus Hydraglyde is a one-month replacement contact lens. This means you throw it away after one month of opening. Furthermore, it comes in a range of powers from -12.00 to +8.00 so it will fit a large range of contact lens wearers.

When fit with Air Optix plus Hydraglyde contact lenses by your eye care provider, you’ll receive a trial lens that is good for one month. Alcon actually has a certificate for a free trial that you can print out and show your eye doctor.

Once your prescription is finalized, you can purchase these contacts in either a 6 month supply or a year supply. There is also a rebate that you might be eligible for. Ask your eye care provider for more information on this.

Also, Air Optix plus Hydraglyde contacts are FDA approved for extended wear. This means you can sleep in the lens up to 6 nights in a row (although I don’t recommend this).

Note: I recommend taking out Air Optix plus Hydraglyde contacts every night and storing them in Biotrue, RevitaLens, or Opti-free Pure Moist contact lens solution. However, if you’re experiencing depositing or contact lens build-up, consider Clear Care Cleaning & Disinfection Solution.

Air Optix plus Hydraglyde for Astigmatism
Source: Alcon

Does Air Optix plus Hydraglyde have a contact lens for astigmatism?

Yes! A few years after Air Optix plus Hydraglye was released, the Air Optix plus Hydraglyde for Astigmatism hit the US. Since July of 2019, these lenses have been providing this new technology of Hydraglyde moisture and SmartShield deposit prevention to patients who require astigmatism correction.

Astigmatism correction requires a certain power to sit in a specific position either on your eye (with contact lens wear) or in front of your eye (with glasses wear), in order to provide optimal vision. To achieve this, the astigmatism lenses (also known as toric lenses), are typically weighted to align the lens appropriately. 

Historically, due to the thicker/weighted material of these lenses, astigmatism contacts have been more uncomfortable and feel drier than spherical lenses. This has created a need for contact lens companies to work to design a lens that will provide better comfort and less moisture loss to increase wear-time in patients with astigmatism. Alcon’s resolution to this common complaint is their Hydraglyde and SmartShield technology, discussed above. 

Air Optix Hydraglyde plus Astigmatism lenses also boast Precision Balance 8|4 technology. In this design, when looking at the front of your lens, the positions at 8 o’clock and 4 o’clock are slightly thicker. The reason for this is that your lower lid will interact with your contact lens the most in these spots when blinking. By creating stability points at this interaction spot, the lens will only rotate a maximum of only 5 degrees. The less your lens rotates, the more stable your vision will be, which helps to resolve one of the most common complaints with astigmatism lenses. 

Finally, these lenses have visible dashes at 3, 6, and 9. By inserting your lens with the 6 o’clock position on the bottom of your eye, this will shorten the amount of time your lens needs to settle into its appropriate weighted position, which speeds up how quickly your vision improves after lens insertion.

Air Optix plus Hydraglyde Multifocal
Source: Alcon

Does Air Optix plus Hydraglyde have a contact lens for presbyopia?

Yes! First available to the US in 2018, Air Optix Plus Hydraglyde Multifocal contacts are an excellent option for presbyopic patients.

In addition to the Hydraglyde and SmartShield technology discussed above, these lenses are created with a Unique Precision Profile design that includes 3 main features:

  1. Bi-aspheric design: Both sides of the lens are aspheric (i.e. not completely round). With a front aspheric design, you’ll experience better contrast and image quality. With a back aspheric design, you’ll experience a better fitting lens due to increased centration. 
  2. Adaptive minus power profile: Allows your doctor to more easily improve your near vision while not sacrificing distance vision. 
  3. Center-near design: A more natural design of multifocal that improves near vision as your pupils naturally constrict to view up-close tasks.

The Air Optix Hydraglyde Multifocal offers smooth transition zones of power from the near center, out to intermediate and eventually to distance, providing you with the good binocular vision possible at all ranges. Additionally, it is available in 3 different levels of reading power, allowing for customization of vision for patients that are 40 years of age and older.

Air Optix Night & Day
Source: Alcon

Air Optix Night & Day Aqua

Although Alcon’s Air Optix Night & Day lenses are designed with the older Aqua technology rather than their new Hydraglyde and SmartShield, these lenses offer an excellent option for patients who wish to sleep in their lenses for multiple nights. 

Air Optix Plus Hydraglyde is approved for up to 6 nights of extended wear, requiring that they be removed at least once a week for soaking overnight in a disinfecting contact lens solution. On the other hand, Air Optix Night & Day Aqua lenses are approved for up to 30 days of continuous wear. 

Due to the higher oxygen transmissibility of Night & Day lenses (175 Dk/t as opposed to Hydraglyde’s 138 Dk/t),  these lenses are safer for prolonged overnight wear. When more oxygen can reach the cornea, the healthier and more comfortable your eyes will be. As opposed to Hydraglyde lenses, Night & Day lenses are limited in power availability, so they are only available to patients with a spherical prescription

Although continuous wear lenses such as Night & Day are a great option for patients who would like to wear contact lenses for multiple days without removal, you should always discuss this with your eye doctor. Based on current eye health, work environment, history, and personal risk factors, continuous or extended contact lens wear may not be a safe option for you.

Air Optix Colors
Source: Alcon

Air Optix Colors Aqua

Another great lens option from Alcon is the Air Optix Colors line. Similar to the Night & Day lens, these lenses are also designed with the Aqua technology, but they should always be removed nightly. If you’re looking to change or enhance the natural color of your eye, doctor prescribed colored contacts are the best and safest option. 

This lens boasts a 3-in-1 technology of an inner ring that brightens and adds depth, the primary color you have chosen, and an outer ring that defines and emphasizes the iris

Alcon also offers Freshlook Colored lenses, although these lenses are not preferred over Air Optix Colors by most practitioners. Both lenses have the 3-in-1 technology mentioned above, but Freshlook lenses are a hydrogel lens with a Dk/t of only 20.

Air Optix Colors lenses, however, are a silicone hydrogel material that has the new SmartShield technology, can be replaced monthly and has a Dk/t of 138! (Remember, the higher the Dk/t the more oxygen that reaches your cornea and the healthier and more comfortable you will be in that lens). Colors include Amethyst, Blue, Brilliant Blue, Brown, Gemstone Green, Green, Gray, Honey, Pure Hazel, Sterling Gray, True Sapphire, Turquoise.

What people are saying…

From Alcon

  • The new Hydraglyde moisture matrix maintains excellent surface moisture throughout your entire day of wear.  
  • SmartShield technology helps prevent the development of deposits and irritation for the whole month. 
  • After trying for 1 month, 4X the amount of patients preferred the Hydraglyde lens over their previous monthly lens.

Is Air Optix plus Hydraglyde right for you?

Pros

  • The new technology in these lenses provides better all-day moisture and less chance of irritating contact lens deposits. 
  • Preferred 4X over comparable monthly lenses after 30 days of wear. 
  • Available in spherical, astigmatism, and multifocal design to fit a variety of prescription needs.

Cons

  • Only available in a monthly modality, which requires the proper cleaning and storage to maintain the lifespan of the lens.
  • Unavailable in patients who require daily contact lens wear due to work environment, allergies, dryness, or other ocular health concerns. 
  • Not available in Night & Day or colored lenses. 

How much does Air Optix plus Hydraglyde cost?

The best place to look is at your eye doctor’s office. However, if you’re looking to price things out from home, consider checking out contact lens retailers online. Right now suggested retail for a box of 6 lenses is as follows:

  • Air Optix plus Hydraglyde – $55
  • Air Optix plus Hydraglyde for Astigmatism – $69
  • Air Optix plus Hydraglyde for Multifocal – $91
  • Air Optix Night & Day – $78
  • Air Optix Colors – $90

Final thoughts

Overall, the Air Optix Hydraglyde family is an exceptional lens option for patients who are looking to improve dryness or deposit issues in their current monthly lenses. They are able to correct almost every visual demand since they are available in a wide range of prescriptions (spherical, astigmatism, and multifocal), and are a very similar price point to other monthly lenses (including it’s Aqua predecessor)! 

If you’re looking for a cost-effective, comfortable, and healthy monthly contact lens, Alcon’s Air Optix Hydraglyde lens is definitely worth trying. Schedule a contact lens evaluation with your eye doctor to try them out for yourself.

What do you think of Air Optix plus Hydraglyde? Leave your review in the comments below!

Air Optix plus HydraGlyde Review
Overall
4.1
  • Cost
  • Comfort
  • Health & Safety
  • Vision
Comments Rating 0 (0 reviews)

Summary

If you’re looking for a cost-effective, comfortable, and healthy monthly contact lens, Alcon’s Air Optix Hydraglyde lens is definitely worth trying.

Pros

  • The new Hydraglyde moisture matrix maintains excellent surface moisture throughout your entire day of wear.  
  • SmartShield technology helps prevent the development of deposits and irritation for the whole month. 
  • After trying for 1 month, 4X the amount of patients preferred the Hydraglyde lens over their previous monthly lens.

Cons

  • Only available in a monthly modality, which requires the proper cleaning and storage to maintain the lifespan of the lens.
  • Unavailable in patients who require daily contact lens wear due to work environment, allergies, dryness, or other ocular health concerns. 
  • Not available in Night & Day or colored lenses. 

Air Optix plus Hydraglyde details

Air Optix Plus HydraGlydeAir Optix Plus HydraGlyde for AstigmatismAir Optix Plus HydraGlyde MultifocalAir Optix Night & DayAir Optix Colors
Year of US market release201620192018?2014
Base curve (i.e. curvature of the contact lens)8.68.78.68.4 and 8.68.6
Diameter (i.e. width of the contact lens)14.214.514.213.814.2
Powers+8.00D to -12.00D
• +0.25D to +6.00D (in 0.25D steps)
• +6.50D to +8.00D (in 0.50D steps)
• -0.25D to -6.00D (in 0.25D steps)
• -6.50D to -12.00D (in 0.50D steps)
+6.00D to -10.00D
• +0.25D to +6.00D (in 0.25D steps)
• -0.25D to -6.00D (in 0.25D steps)
• -6.50D to -9.00D (in 0.50D steps)
+6.00D to -10.00D in 0.25D steps (including plano)+6.00D to -10.00D
• +0.25D to +6.00D (in 0.25D steps)
• -0.25D to -6.00D (in 0.25D steps)
• -6.50D to -10.00D (in 0.50D steps)
+6.00D to -10.00D
• +0.25D to +6.00D (in 0.25D steps)
• -0.25D to -6.00D (in 0.25D steps)
• -6.50D to -8.00D (in 0.50D steps)
Cylindern/a-0.75, -1.25, -1.75, -2.25, -2.75n/an/an/a
Axisn/a10° to 180° (in 10° steps)
n/an/an/a
Add powersn/an/aLow (up to +1.25 spectacle add), Medium (+1.50 to +2.00 spectacle add), and High (+2.25 to +2.50 spectacle add)n/an/a
Handling tintLight blueLight blueLight blueLight blueLight blue
Materiallotrafilcon B
(silicone hydrogel)
lotrafilcon B
(silicone hydrogel)
lotrafilcon B
(silicone hydrogel)
lotrafilcon A
(silicone hydrogel)
samfilcon A
(silicone hydrogel)
Water content33%33%33%24%33%
Dk/t (i.e. oxygen transmissibility)
138 @ -3.00108 @ -3.00138 @ -3.00175 @ -3.00138 @ -3.00
Center thickness
0.08 mm @ -3.000.102 mm @ -3.000.08 mm @ -3.000.08 mm @ -3.000.08 mm @ -3.00
TechnologyHydraGlyde and SmartShield TechnologyPrecision Balance 8|4, HydraGlyde and SmartShield TechnologyPrecision Profile Design, HydraGlyde, and SmartShield TechnologyHighest oxygen transmissibility of any available soft contact lensColors: Amethyst, Blue, Brilliant Blue, Brown, Gemstone Green, Green, Gray, Honey, Pure Hazel, Sterling Gray, True Sapphire, Turquoise.
Wear typeDaily wearDaily wearDaily wearDaily wearDaily wear
Replacement scheduleOne month (i.e. throw away at the end of one month)One month (i.e. throw away at the end of one month)One month (i.e. throw away at the end of one month)One month (i.e. throw away at the end of one month)One month (i.e. throw away at the end of one month)
TrialsSingle lenses Single lenses Single lenses Single lenses Single lenses
Available for purchase6 lenses per a box6 lenses per a box6 lenses per a box6 lenses per a box6 lenses per a box
Approved to be slept in?Yes (6 nights in a row)Yes (6 nights in a row)Yes (6 nights in a row)Yes (30 nights in a row)No
Inside out markings?NoNoNoNoNo
Rebate available?YesYesYesNoNo
UV protection?NoNoNoNoNo

References:

Leave a Reply

Sending