NEW YORK – Representatives of the contact lens industry discussed extended wear, comfort, daily disposable and multifocal technology during the Global Contact Lens Forum at Vision Expo East.
“The Holy Grail of contact lens wear is not a daily disposable, where you have to put a lens on and take it off,” moderator Barry Eiden, OD, FAAO, said. “We would love to have a lens that one could wear for a month or 6 months. Then you take the whole commodity element out of contact lenses.”
He said instead of patients buying boxes of contact lenses, he or she would see the practitioner every 6 months and have a new lens put in.
Panelist Louise Sclafani, OD, FAAO, vice president of professional affairs for SynergEyes, said, “You have to know your patients and know their ocular surface, and sometimes it’s better if they don’t touch their eyes. It’s not there for everybody, but it’s there for some.”
“These abusers come in and look perfect,” Eiden said. “Endothelial cell counts are good. And you think, ‘What is it about them and the lenses that are on their eyes that allows that to happen? That’s where our answer has to be.”
Sclafani said that a particular patient’s immune system comes into play.
“We talk about medical management with these patients,” she said. “Maybe we have to have some type of tool to identify who will have a better immune response than others.”
Millicent Knight, OD, FAAO, vice president of professional education and development for Johnson & Johnson, said she began in a hospital-based practice, conducting preoperative and postoperative exams, and then went into private practice, where she saw corneal ulcers and microbial keratitis.
“It’s unpredictable which ones will do best and worse in those situations,” she said. “I have always believed that shorter is better.”
Michele L. Andrews, OD, senior director of professional and academic affairs for CooperVision, said this topic recently came up at the Dutch Contact Lens Congress in The Netherlands.
Michele L. Andrews
“I used to prescribe contacts for my patients who had crippling arthritis, and they came to see me once a month, and I would switch out their lenses for them,” she said. “They physically couldn’t do it.”
She said CooperVision promotes health and wellness through its 1-day products.
“It makes sense to say if we don’t see well, we’re uncomfortable,” Andrews continued. “A study quantified an association between decreased vision and comfort. If we look at dropout rates among astigmats, 63% of those who drop out have 0.75 D or more of astigmatism. We need to close the gap between the number of people who have astigmatism and the number who wear contact lenses. We have two silicone hydrogel 1-day lenses that support your toric patients.”
“Comfort is the key,” Jill Saxon, OD, FAAO, senior director of professional strategies for Bausch + Lomb, said. “At Bausch + Lomb we control spherical aberrations at every 0.25 D so you can provide patients with optical correction, and this carries through to multifocals.”
Knight said Johnson & Johnson’s goal is maximum comfort.
“With 21 clinical studies, Oasys has never been beat in comfort,” she said.
Sclafani explained how all of SynergEyes’ hybrid lenses are coated with Tangible Science’s Hydra-PEG.
“The purpose of the coating is to resist deposits and make it more comfortable,” she said. “It has made a huge difference in the comfort of SynergEyes products.” – by Nancy Hemphill, ELS, FAAO
Eiden SB, et al. State of the contact lens industry – future trends in contact lenses and the ocular surface. Presented at: Vision Expo East; March 15-18, 2018; New York.
Andrews is employed by CooperVision. Eiden is a consultant, lecturer or conducts research for or has a financial interest in Alcon, Alden, Bausch + Lomb, Brien Holden Vision Institute, CooperVision, Paragon, EyeVis Eye and VisionResearch, SpecialEyes and SynergEyes. Knight is employed by Johnson & Johnson Vision Care. Saxon is employed by Bausch + Lomb. Sclafani is employed by SynergEyes.