What is contact lens modality?

The contact lens industry is constantly innovating and advancing the technology to incorporate a massive array of products to help patients achieve a safer and more comfortable wearing experience. As a user of contact lenses, visits to an eye care practitioner means exposure to a bunch of contact lens jargon and ambiguous terminologies that can be confusing. Understanding some of these terminologies will help you feel more empowered when navigating the contact lens world and minimize the risks of complications. Common terminology used is ‘modality’ or ‘modalities’- but what does this mean?

Lens wear modality, also known as lens wear schedule, indicates how many days and nights in a row a contact lens can be worn and the removal/cleaning/disposal schedule. Your eye care practitioner will prescribe the best modality out of several available in the market, depending on your needs and lifestyle. Below is a list of the existing modalities in the market:

  • Daily Wear: lenses are removed from the eyes at least once per day; not approved for wearing while asleep.
  • Extended Wear: lenses worn for no more than 6 nights and 7 days in a row.
  • Continuous Wear: lenses worn for up to 30 nights without removal.
  • Flexible Wear: lenses are worn mainly during waking hours but can be worn while asleep occasionally.

Contact lens wearers today have a wide range of options when choosing a lens modality. Ultimately, eye care practitioners are responsible for selecting a proper contact lens modality, material, and solution combination to ensure lens wear success, including eye health. Here are some questions eye care practitioners often consider when deciding on the best modality for your prescription:

  • Does the patient experience end-of-day dryness?
  • Does the patient have deposit build-up?
  • Are there signs of corneal neovascularization?  
  • Does the toric lens show signs of instability during the day? 

Prescriptions are individualized to match each patient’s lifestyle and to maximize compliance. For example, many wearers would be surprised to learn that their contact lenses should never contact water, including pool, showering, or washing the face. The patient’s ability to follow the set routine and care instructions is important as non-compliance may lead to more complications. The rates for contact lens care non-compliance range from 50 to 99 percent, even though most users believe they are compliant. 

Some variables that contribute to non-compliant behavior in contact lens care by wearers include age, education, how long they have been wearing contact lenses, wearing schedule/modality, and their purpose for wearing contact lenses. The modality with the greatest compliance rate is daily wear. Not surprising since they are thrown out each night and a new pair used in the morning.

Now that you’re better informed about your contact lens prescription, you’re ready to find the best lenses for your lifestyle. Check out Lens.com to find your preferred lenses in the prescribed modality at great prices.