The Importance of Oxygen Permeability in Contact Lenses


The world of vision correction has seen remarkable advancements over the years, with contact lenses being at the forefront of these innovations. One of the most critical aspects of modern contact lens design is oxygen permeability, often referred to as “breathability.” But why is this feature so vital? And how do leading brands, such as Biofinity contacts, ensure their lenses offer optimal oxygen transmission? Let’s explore.

Understanding Oxygen Permeability

Oxygen permeability, scientifically termed “Dk/t value,” refers to the ability of a contact lens material to allow oxygen to pass through it. The cornea, the clear front surface of the eye, relies heavily on oxygen from the surrounding atmosphere for its health. Unlike other tissues in the body, the cornea doesn’t have blood vessels to deliver oxygen. Instead, it absorbs oxygen directly from the air.

When we place a contact lens on the cornea, it can act as a barrier to this oxygen supply. Hence, the material of the lens must be permeable enough to ensure that the cornea receives the necessary oxygen to function correctly and remain healthy.

Why is Breathability Crucial for Eye Health?


  1. Corneal Health: A continuous supply of oxygen is vital for the cornea’s cellular metabolism. Without adequate oxygen, cells can become stressed, leading to complications such as corneal swelling or even more severe conditions like corneal neovascularization, where blood vessels grow into the cornea.
  2. Preventing Hypoxia: Hypoxia is a condition where the cornea doesn’t receive enough oxygen. Symptoms can include redness, discomfort, blurred vision, and, in severe cases, can lead to infections or ulcers.
  3. Comfort: Breathable lenses reduce the risk of dryness and irritation. When the cornea receives sufficient oxygen, it also ensures better overall comfort for the wearer, reducing feelings of eye fatigue or discomfort.
  4. Extended Wear: For those who prefer wearing their lenses for extended periods or even overnight, high oxygen permeability is crucial. It ensures that the eyes remain healthy even during prolonged wear.

How Brands Like Biofinity Prioritize Breathability

Biofinity, produced by CooperVision, is one of the leading brands in the contact lens industry. Their commitment to ensuring optimal oxygen permeability is evident in their choice of materials and lens design.

See Also

  1. Silicone Hydrogel Material: Biofinity lenses are made from silicone hydrogel material. Silicone hydrogel lenses are advanced soft lenses that allow more oxygen to pass through them than regular hydrogel lenses. This material combines the best of both worlds: the high oxygen permeability of silicone and the comfort of the hydrogel.
  2. Aquaform® Technology: Biofinity’s unique Aquaform Technology ensures that the lenses are naturally wettable. This means they retain moisture, reducing the need for additional surface treatments or wetting agents. A moist lens surface allows for better oxygen transmission, ensuring that the cornea remains healthy.
  3. Balanced Modulus: Biofinity lenses have been designed with a balanced modulus, meaning they provide a balance between softness and firmness. This ensures that while the lens is comfortable, it doesn’t compromise on its shape or oxygen transmission capabilities.
  4. Extended Wear Option: Due to their high breathability, Biofinity lenses are also FDA-approved for up to 7 days and 6 nights of continuous wear. This is a testament to their commitment to ensuring that even in extended wear scenarios, the eye’s health is not compromised.

The Bottom Line

Oxygen permeability is not just a technical specification; it’s a crucial factor that determines the health of our eyes when wearing contact lenses. As the demand for contact lenses grows and as wearers seek more extended wear options, the importance of breathability becomes even more paramount.


Brands like Biofinity, with their commitment to advanced materials and innovative designs, set the standard in ensuring that vision correction doesn’t come at the cost of eye health. Whether you’re a new contact lens user or have been wearing them for years, always prioritize lenses that offer optimal oxygen transmission – your eyes will thank you.

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