Let's Talk About HubbleIt seems you can scarcely scroll through your Facebook feed without seeing an advertisement for Hubble (at least, if you're a contact lens wearer.  And, of course, the Facebook algorithm knows all!).  So let's chat about these daily disposable lenses to learn more about them, and find out if they're a good deal.

 

What are Hubble Contact Lenses?

Hubble is a brand of daily disposable contact lenses.  Replacing lenses daily is most certainly the safest, healthiest way to wear contact lenses- we agree on that.  They work on a subscription model, which means you pay a monthly fee and they ship the lenses to you.  It definitely sounds convenient, right?  Hubble believes this subscription model will make daily disposable contact lenses more accessible and affordable.  So, what's the problem?

Most newer contact lenses allow more oxygen to get through the lens to the cornea of the eye.  You will often hear doctors describe these lenses as "more breathable."  More oxygen getting through generally helps the eye stay healthier.  When there's not enough oxygen, complications can occur.  Blood vessels can start growing into the cornea, which normally does not have blood vessels in it.  The blood vessels grow trying to bring in more oxygen to the tissue.  Additionally, the cornea can swell when there's low oxygen, causing discomfort, light sensitivity, and blurry vision.  Sometimes you can even get corneal ulcers, which occur when the body's immune system starts attacking the cornea and basically creates a hole in the tissue.  This can be very painful, cause light sensitivity, and even potentially lead to blindness.  For all these reasons- contact lens manufacturers are producing more and more breathable lenses, and doctors are very often prescribing them for patients.

Hubble uses an older contact lens material, which transmits very little oxygen.  The material is called methafilcon A, and it was used in older monthly contact lenses such as Cooper's Vertex and Frequency 55 (both of which have been discontinued).  We measure oxygen transmission as a "dK value", which is a numerical indicator.  Newer, breathable lenses such as Dailies Total One by Alcon and Acuvue Oasys One Day by Johnson & Johnson Vision have dK values of 140 and 103, respectively.  Methafilcon A (Hubble) has a dK of only 18.

Why are they so cheap?

Hubble markets their lenses as being very affordable, stating that consumers are often overcharged for contact lenses- not realizing they have a choice.  They charge $36 for 60 lenses, which is a one month subscription (plus shipping).  Taking advantage of manufacturer rebates, Dailies Total One can be around $25 a month, Acuvue Oasys One Day slightly less- and remember both of those lenses are more breathable.  Additionally, you can apply insurance benefits in your doctor's office on these other lenses- bringing the cost down even further.  In most cases, when you order your annual supply of contact lenses with your doctor, you are eligible for a rebate and free shipping of the lenses to your house- matching the convenience of Hubble.  There are many other daily disposable contact lenses which cost even less, but are still a more breathable option than Hubble.

Can they correct astigmatism?

At the time of this post, Hubble does not sell lenses that correct for astigmatism, or bifocal needs.  They also do not come in color options.  Other daily disposable lenses do correct astigmatism, or bifocal needs.

Hubble in the News

A recent article was published in the NY Times with a lot of information about Hubble.   Another article in a  December 2017 report from Quartz, a business pulication, detailed people receiving lenses from Hubble after they had made up prescriptions and doctors.  The concern among doctors is that patients are being given contact lenses that they were never fitted for, which could lead to potential complications.

What's the bottom line?

While we agree with Hubble that daily disposable lenses are the safest, healthiest lens types- we are concerned about the breathability of the lenses, and potential orders being filled without verification being sent.  We have actually had patients come in wearing Hubble contact lenses that we never prescribed or received verification for.  Our chief misison is always to do what is in the best interest of our patients.  There are many healthier lenses, at a lower cost, available.

 

 

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