ST. LOUIS – Bausch + Lomb introduced Ultra Multifocal for Astigmatism during a press conference here at Optometry’s Meeting.
The new monthly silicone hydrogel contact lens is now available as a standard offering in the eye care professional’s fitting set, according to Jill Saxon, OD, FAAO, senior director of professional strategy for Bausch + Lomb.
“There are 32 million contact lens-eligible patients who have both presbyopia and astigmatism, and we’re not taking care of them,” Saxon said at the press conference. “We’re doing the best we can with the options we have.”
She said presbyopic astigmatic patients may be wearing toric lenses as monovision or with reading glasses or wearing multifocal lenses that do not correct their astigmatism.
“We’re compromising in some way,” Saxon said.
Bausch + Lomb principal design engineer, Kristen Hovinga, explained at the press conference that Ultra Multifocal for Astigmatism starts with the foundation of material that uses MoistureSeal technology and is combined with the optics and mechanics of the 3-Zone Progressive and OpticAlign design for a seamless transition. In addition, the lenses have been shown to maintain 95% of their moisture for 16 hours.
“We recognized the importance of a large variety of different shapes and sizes of eyes and different biometry factors that are unique patient to patient,” Hovinga said. “We collected refractions, pupil sizes, higher-order aberrations, axial length and accommodation.”
She said she and her team also researched the human blink to evaluate how the blinking motion combines with the individual anatomy of the eye, which drives stability in the contact lens.
“This lens has been proven to be effective over a wide variety of patients to satisfy critical parameters to make for successful contact lens wear,” Hovinga said. “It’s available as an immediate standard offering. The same-day fitting process is important for practitioners to get their patients out the door with that lens.”
Bausch + Lomb director of medical affairs, vision care, Marjorie J. Rah, OD, PhD, FAAO, noted at the press conference that research indicates that half of patients with astigmatism and presbyopia are dropping out of contact lens wear.
“It’s a huge opportunity to recapture some of that,” she said.
“This is not just for your patients who are already in multifocal lenses,” Saxon said. “We’re asking doctors not to limit who they’re talking to. They should offer it to every available candidate.”
“I see this lens as a game changer for us,” private practitioner Gina Wesley, OD, MS, FAAO, said at the press conference. “I see it impacting my patients’ lives in the immediate and long term. This is only the beginning of what we’re going to experience with this innovation.”
The lens is made out of samfilcon A material with 46% water content and 114 Dk. The base curve is 8.6 mm, with a diameter of 14.5 mm. Spherical powers are available in +4.00 D to -6.00 D in 0.25-D steps, with available cylinder powers of -0.75 D, -1.25 D and -1.75 D, 10 degrees to 180 degrees in 10-degree steps. Add powers include +0.75 D to +1.50 D (low) and +1.75 D to +2.50 D (high). – by Nancy Hemphill, ELS, FAAO
Disclosures: Hovinga, Rah and Saxon are employed by Bausch + Lomb. Wesley is a speaker for Bausch + Lomb.