First of Its Kind: 30-Day Contacts

Two eye-bugged staffers try out 30-day contacts.

Illustration by David Navascues
Illustration by David Navascues

"Ciba Vision has combined the peanut butter and the chocolate," says New York opthamologist Barry Farkas, referring to the company's Focus Night & Day contact lenses, the first designed for continuous 24-hour, 30-day use. The lens is a hybrid of an oxygen-permeable silicon lens (the peanut butter) and a more comfortable soft lens (the chocolate). Under Farkas' care, two Popular Science editors tested Ciba's claims.

Staffer A suffers from dry eye, but after a couple of days, she was wearing the lenses in comfort overnight. They lasted the full month-she never took them out. Staffer B suffers from an allergic eyelid and blood-vessel growth into the cornea. She wore the lenses a few times overnight, but in the end opted to take them out each night. The lenses lasted for 3 weeks; during that time, the increased oxygen to her eyes had diminished vessel growth. Both staffers have since made them their everyday lens.