BY JOSEPH T. BARR, OD, MS, FAAO, EDITOR
Professor Brien Holden came from winter in Australia to summer in the northern hemisphere in late July to present to the FDA Ophthalmic Devices Advisory Panel. He argued that silicone hydrogel 30-day continuous contact lens wear may be less risky in terms of infection than previous lenses and less risky in terms of vision loss than LASIK. Despite rumblings I have heard about infectious keratitis with these lenses in Australia, I am just as bullish on their availability in the United States as I was 20 years ago when we recommended silicone elastomer lenses for 30-day wear. There is great potential for these lenses. Patients do want them. Now if only practitioners will take the reasonable risk to give their patients a chance.
Although there may be much ado about very little regarding the need for a rubbing step with contact lens care, at least there is some reassessment of how patients should care for contact lenses. This is important for all patients who do not wear daily disposables. There are real differences among contact lens solutions in terms of toxicity, comfort and cleaning. And it is certainly important that patients care for their lenses properly, rubbing or not. Contact Lens Spectrum will continue to supply you with information to help your patients.
Lance Armstrong won the Tour de France again. His victory and my own bicycle riding are such a joy. I don't know what I would do without my contact lenses for bicycling. Did I tell you I wear my contact lenses at the pool, too? I dispose of the lenses after swimming, or clean and disinfect very carefully, and never nap with the lenses after a swim.
Fluorescein? If you are going to try new Corneal Refractive Therapy (or orthokeratology), contact lens treatment for temporary myopia reduction, brush up on your fluorescein pattern reading skills if you don't normally fit RGPs. I've never been more convinced how difficult fluorescein pattern reading is based on our recent research. There is much reward for you and your patients if you do master this method.
Contact Lens Spectrum, Issue: September 2001