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Who Are Alcon

You may remember your favourite brand of contact lenses being manufactured by Ciba Vision now bare the name Alcon, that is because back in 2011 A Swiss multinational company Novartis (the majority owner of Alcon) merged its eye care division with Ciba Vision and named the new company Alcon -a Novartis Company.

For over 70 years Alcon has been instigating improvements in eye care by working together with eyecare professionals and their customers.
With innovative products, partnerships with, and continuing education programmes for, eye care professionals, Alcon continues it’s commitment to improved eye care for all.

Alcon is a world leader in research, development and the manufacturing of contact lenses, having the widest range of products in eye care, offering not only contact lenses but also a range of eye products specifically tailored for dry eyes.

Alcon also has a philanthropic side, their corporate giving efforts include the Alcon Foundations and Alcon Cares, which helps improve peoples vision around the world by making access to quality eye care more accessible, and providing training, and transferring skills.

What Types of Contact Lenses do Alcon Manufacture?

Alcon manufacture a wide range of contact lenses, with many of their brands being household names such as Focus, Dailies, Air Optix and Freshlook, if you are looking for well priced, great quality contact lenses, then Alcon almost certainly has a contact lens for you.

  • Daily Contact Lenses
  • Monthly Contact Lenses
  • Toric Contact Lenses for astigmatism
  • Multifocal Contact Lenses for presbyopia
  • Extended Wear Contact Lenses for overnight wear
  • Coloured Contact Lenses - for enhancing your eye colour or completely changing it.

Where Can I Buy Alcon Contact Lenses

Alcon contact lenses and products are available in almost every high street optical practice, and almost every Optometrist will have access to the full range of Alcon contact lenses for you trial.
Alcon lenses and products are also available on online, through reputable optical websites.

Best Alcon Contact Lenses For

Focus Dailies All Day Comfort is a Daily disposable contact lens containing Alcon’s patented lightStream technology creating an ionic surface which helps prevent build up of protein, helping the contact lenses remain fresh and clear throughout the day.

Air Optix plus Hydraglyde is a monthly disposable contact lens with advanced silicone hydrogel. SmartShield technology creates a water loving environment that delivers better daily deposit protection than any other 2-week or monthly silicone hydrogel contact lens (1)

Air Optix Night & Day Aqua is a silicone hydrogel contact lens that has been approved to be worn as a daily disposable contact lens, or, with the approval of your optometrist up to 30 consecutive nights. Made from a breakthrough material, Lotrafilcon A and contains siloxane, providing the highest level of oxygen transmissibility of any contact lens currently available (2).

Dailies Total 1 is a silicone hydrogel contact lens with a core of 33% water content that allows maximum oxygen transmission through the lens, sandwiched between a ultrasoft, high water content (> 80%) surface gel, which provides exceptional comfort.

FreshLook® COLORBLENDS® is a monthly disposable lens that uses 3-in-1 color technology for a naturally beautiful look, whether you want a dramatic transformation or subtle enhancement. It doesn't matter if you need vision correction or your vision is perfect you can experience a fresh, new look that's always you.

Dailies AquaComfort Plus Toric is a daily disposable contact lens designed for people with astigmatism, incorporating Alcons' Lightstream Technology' for a thin, streamlined contact lens that provides good edge comfort and crystal clear vision.

Dailies AquaComfort Plus Multifocal is a daily disposable contact lens for people with presbyopia. A full range of prescription strengths blends seamlessly for instant focus and smooth transitions across a wide range of distances. Designed with a Precision Profile for clear vision, plus, blink-activated moisture for outstanding comfort.

Brief History Of Alcon

  • 1945 - Two pharmacists Robert Alexander and William Connor from Fort Worth Texas open a small pharmacy and name it Alcon by combining the first syllable of their last names
  • 1950 - Alcon launch their first two Ophthalmic products: Zincfrin for red eyes and Ophthalzin for minor eye infections
  • 1953 - Robert Alexander and a local physician develop and patent the “Droptainer” and eye drop dispensing bottle, which became the standard for today's eye care products
  • 1969 - Alcon forms it's  surgical division
  • 1989 - Alcon purchases CooperVision Surgical making them the worlds leading Ophthalmic surgical company
  • 1990 - Focus®  the first soft contact lens exclusively for periodic replacement is launched 
  • 2003 - Systane® eye drops for treatment of dry eyes are launched
  • 2008 - Ciba Vision launch Air Optix® for Astigmatism, Air Optix® Aqua and Dailies AquaComfort Plus®
  • 2011 - Novaris buy Ciba Vision to become Alcon - a Novaris group. Alcon launch Dailies Total 1® the worlds first water gradient daily disposable contact lens 
  • 2014 - Dailies AquaComfort Plus range extended to include multi-focals, also AirOptix® Colors are launched - a coloured silicone hydrogel contact lens
  • 2016 - Dailies Total 1® Multifocal and Air Optix® plus Hydraglyde which combines Smartshield® technology and Hydraglyde Moisture Matix are launched
  • 2021 - Alcon launch Total 30, the first and only monthly replacement, water gradient lens that feels like nothing, even on day 30

To see a more comprehensive history of Alcon's innovations and developments check out their website

Interesting Facts About Alcon

The largest manufacturer of Contact Lenses and Lens care products

The name Alcon comes from joining the first two syllables of the surnames of the two pharmacist who forms the company, Robert Alexander and William Connor

The largest eye care device company in the world


Do Alcon Make Coloured Contact Lenses

Yes, Alcon have a large range of coloured contact lenses. Whether you need prescription contact lenses or have perfect eye sight but just want to change the colour of your eyes then check out Alcons colour contact lens range.  Check out Freshlook Colorblends to enhance or change your eye colour,  Freshlook Colors for a more noticeable colour change, or, Freshlook Dimensions for a more dramatic but natural look. These are all monthly disposable contact lenses and come in a wide range of colours.
Alcon also manufacture a daily disposable coloured contact lens Freshlook One Day and an extended wear coloured contact lens Air Optix Colors, which is a silicone hydrogel lens and can be worn, with your Optometrists approval, for up to 30 consecutive days.

Are Focus Dailies A good Contact Lens

Focus dailies are a very popular daily disposable contact lens, priced in the mid range.
They are a great option for people who don’t want the hassle of a cleaning routine, have active lifestyles, or, only wear contact lenses occasionally.
You Optometrist will probably suggest dailies if you have allergies, as they are less likely to collect deposits such as pollen, and, as they are replaced daily any build up is short lived.
They are also a great option for first time wearers.

What Happened to Ciba Vision

Ciba Vision was a very popular manufacturer of contact lenses, with Focus Dailies being one of its most popular contact lenses and loved by many daily contact lens wearers. However, the name Ciba Vision was removed from all packaging in 2011 when a Swiss multi-national company, Novartis, merged Ciba Vision with its own eye care division and named the new company Alcon -a Novartis Company.
You will now see Alcon has replaced Ciba Vision on all branding.


  1. Nash W, Gabriel M, Mowrey-McKee M. A comparison of various silicone hydrogel lenses; lipid and protein deposition as a result of daily wear. Optom Vis Sci. 2010;87:E-abstract 105110.
  2. Versus any available soft contact lens based on the ratio of lens oxygen transmissibilities; Alcon data on file, 2009, 2010.


John Dreyer Optometrist Bsc(Hons), MCOPTOM, DipCLP
John qualified from Aston University in 1980, he has authored for over the last 20 years, bringing his expertise to visitors to the site and providing valuable optical advice to customer questions throughout the years. He has been featured by several leading publications including The Express and ITProPortal