contact lens practice pearls
Exciting about Contact Lenses?
was easy for me. I came onto the optometric scene when manufacturers were first
introducing soft and GP contact lenses. The excitement surrounding these developments
meetings and eyecare publications. Those were exciting times for contact lens enthusiasts.
Fast forward to today. Many
would argue that medical management of ocular conditions is the new, sexy topic
of our current times. But to those who say "there's nothing new in contact lenses,"
consider these developments that have taken place in the past few years.
The evolution of silicone
hydrogel lenses has allowed us to break the oxygen barrier associated with hydrogel
lenses in which the solubility of oxygen in water limits the maximum oxygen permeability.
Silicone hydrogel lenses resolve hypoxic complications that result from hydrogel
lens wear, not to mention that CIBA Vision's Night & Day and Bausch & Lomb's
PureVision lenses have approval for convenient continuous monthly wear.
Discomfort is the number-one reason
patients discontinue contact lens wear. Patients can enjoy improved lens comfort
for more hours because of newer, moisture-retaining
materials in lenses that include Extreme H2O (Hydrogel Vision Corp.),
Proclear Compatibles (CooperVision) and Acuvue Advance with Hydraclear (Vistakon).
In a recent development, Vistakon
is launching the Acuvue Oasys with Hydraclear Plus, targeting patients who currently
experience or who are prone to experience contact lens dryness.
Design and Care Advancements
Manufacturers have developed
many new multifocal designs in both soft and GP lenses, providing presbyopes with
freedom from spectacles with ever improving visual performance.
Advancements in toric soft lens
designs provide enhanced quality and stability of vision with greater access to
frequent replacement options for even the most extreme prescriptions.
lens designs such as the Macrolens (C&H Labs) and the Jupiter lens (Innovations
in Sight) offer relief to some patients who have irregular corneas and who can't
with more conventional approaches.
Manufacturers continue to develop
aberration-correcting lenses in both soft and GP designs. In the soft lens realm,
the Biomedics 55 Premier (CooperVision) and Definition AC (Optical Connection, Inc.)
aberration-correcting lenses join the Frequency 55 Asphere (CooperVision) and Choice
AB (CIBA Vision) front-surface aspheric lenses. GP aberration-correcting lenses
include the recently introduced Rose K2 (Blanchard) lens for keratoconus. These
designs will continue to improve as we begin to tap this great well of potential.
Material and design advancements
combine in corneal molding to offer a safe, controlled option for vision correction.
Also regularly appearing on the
market are new contact lens care systems that minimize chemical sensitivity, enhance
lens wearing comfort and provide excellent disinfection action with great ease of
The Real Excitement
What's truly exciting are
the new opportunities that all of these advancements offer to us and to our patients.
We can provide contact lens correction to more people who have a greater variety
of refractive errors and ocular conditions than ever before, with contact lenses
that offer superior vision, enhanced comfort and greater safety.
exciting times for contact lens enthusiasts!
Dr. Quinn is in
group practice in Athens, Ohio, and has served as a faculty member at The Ohio State
University College of Optometry.
Contact Lens Spectrum, Issue: July 2005