Silsoft Contact Lens Update

Silsoft lenses are a special lens made for those without an intraocular lens. They are the most popular option (over 50% of market share), but since 2021 have been going through some production delays. Recently, Bausch & Lomb announced an update about their Silsoft lens manufacturing process. You can learn more about Silsoft lenses below, or scroll to the bottom to read the most recent manufacturer’s update.

What Are Silsoft Contacts?

Cross section of a human eye, with the intraocular lens present in the center of the image. Image courtesy of Retina Vitreous Associates of Florida.

Most people’s eyes contain an intraocular lens. This lens can expand and contract to focus light onto your retina. Without an intraocular lens, you cannot see anything and eventually your retina stops working. Some children are born without intraocular lenses (a condition call aphakia), or are born with cataracts and need to have their lenses removed. And there are some adults who need their intraocular lens removed and can’t have a replacement inserted.

For those without an intraocular lens, a aphakic contact lens like Silsoft is mandatory. Without it, they could lose their vision permanently. Silsoft lenses sit on the outside of the eye, just like a normal contact lens. However, they are designed to be much, much stronger than a regular contact lens since they are compensating for the lack of an intraocular lens.

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What makes Silsoft special?

According to eye doctors, Silsoft lenses have two important features that make them special: high oxygen permeability and high modulus (or stiffness).

Your eyes need oxygen, just like the rest of your body. Your cornea actually absorbs oxygen directly from the air. Silsoft lenses allow a significant amount of oxygen to pass through to the eye. This is why they are approved for up to 30 days of continuous wear.

High modulus (or stiffness) may sound like a bad thing, but for these lenses it is actually an important feature. Most Silsoft wearers are young children, who cannot insert their contacts themselves. Adults who are inserting these lenses into children’s eyes say that the extra stiffness makes it much easier to insert. The extra stiffness also means that the lenses are less likely to fall of the child’s eye while they are playing.

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How much do Silsoft cost?

Silsoft lenses don’t come cheap. They are a specialized product with a unique manufacturing process, all of which leads to increased costs. You can use our price comparison tool, or the links below, to see how much they cost:

For families at or below the federal poverty line, Bausch & Lomb will actually cover the entire price of the lens. This is a great program to ensure that those who most need these products can get access to them. It is important to note that they will only cover lenses purchased from your eye doctor, so make sure to read the fine print and work with your doctor to obtain the reimbursement.

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Difference between Silsoft Pediatric and Silsoft Adult?

There is basically no difference between Silsoft Pediatric and Silsoft Adult lenses. They are both made from the same material, and come in the same prescription parameters. The only difference is the packaging.

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Is Silsoft Discontinued?

No, but some parameters are unavailable due to manufacturing delays. For more information, you should review the latest letter from Bausch & Lomb, or see our explanation below.

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Why is Silsoft Delayed?

On June 28th, 2021, Bauch & Lomb announced that the manufacturer of the vial lid had gone out of business, and they needed to change the packaging. Since contact lenses are a medical device, the change in packaging meant that they needed to seek FDA approval for the new vial lid. They had still had a stock of old lenses and old packaging, and were filling orders whenever possible while they waited for FDA approval.

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Latest Update from B&L

In a new letter from Bausch & Lomb (dated February 11, 2022), they explain that they have submitted documents for FDA approval and expect to hear back by May or June 2022. Unfortunately, they are out of stock in most prescription parameters. If you are one of the few prescriptions they have in stock, they will still make and ship your order. If you aren’t so lucky, they can place a backorder for you and make your lenses when they receive FDA approval. You will need to have your retailer or doctor contact B&L to find out if your specific prescription is out of stock.

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