|The new Duette hybrid lens from SynergEyes retains a GP center and a soft lens skirt.|
Leading manufacturers reveal their views of what’s ahead for cl materials and designs.
Since silicone hydrogel lenses became available, the goal of these materials has been to provide extremely high oxygen permeability with the comfort and clinical performance of conventional hydrogels. For some patients, however, wearing contact lenses comfortably is still a challenge. So just where is the future of contact lens materials and design headed to help overcome this dilemma?
CIBA VISION believes that patient compliance with lens replacement schedules will continue to be an issue for practitioners. As a result, the company expects that true daily disposables, such as its Dailies® brand lenses, will continue to grow in popularity. Therefore, we can expect to see an expansion of Rx availability, designs, and materials for daily disposable use.
For example, newer one-day lenses such as 1-DAY ACUVUE® MOIST™ from VISTAKON, Division of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc., offers ocular protection and design advantages over first-generation one-day lenses, while 1-DAY ACUVUE TruEye combines the benefits of silicone hydrogel, HYDRACLEAR® technology, and the health, comfort, and convenience benefits of a one-day lens.
With two successful daily disposable lens lines (ClearSight™ 1 Day and Proclear® 1 Day), CooperVision, Inc. is also well positioned to meet the growing demand for daily disposable lenses as doctors and patients continue to see the improved compliance that comes with this modality of wear.
|Multifocals like CIBA VISION’s Air Optix Aqua Multifocal lenses will bring more presbyopic patients into wearing and staying in contact lenses.|
To support this view even further, Bausch + Lomb also continues to see growth in its SofLens® daily disposable contact lenses.
Meanwhile, CIBA be-lieves lenses intended for monthly replacement will continue to erode the two-week replacement market while silicone hydrogel lenses will continue to gain market share over conventional HEMA lenses.
CooperVision indicates that a big area of change in the next decade will be lenses that correct presbyopia. As presbyopes struggle with near vision in their current contact lenses or glasses prescriptions, doctors need to get them to consider multifocal contacts. Two important factors will affect the growth of the multifocal market. First, reducing the number of contact lens dropouts. If patients are wearing lenses at the time they encounter presbyopia, they will likely want to continue with contacts and not be interested in wearing reading glasses. The second goal in multifocal design is to improve distance vision with new designs and fitting strategies.
Most contact lens wearers are highly motivated to stay in contact lenses at the time they become presbyopic. Future lens designs will need to further improve upon lens comfort to address age-related increases in dry eye. Dry eye discomfort and contact lens intolerance, which are the primary reasons patients discontinue wear, are being addressed by products such as CooperVision’s Biofinity® line. The future release of a Biofinity® multifocal lens will offer patients the benefits of CooperVision’s multifocal designs with admirable comfort.
|GUARANTEE CL SUCCESS Patient compliance with lens care and the treatment of anterior segment disease is critical to optimum success with contact lenses. As eyecare practitioners, if we ignore the signs of lid margin disease, dry eye, and conjunctival or corneal inflammation, patients will fail to wear contact lenses comfortably. It is important to educate patients about these conditions if present and how they need to be treated to maintain healthy eyes that can successfully wear contact lenses.|
Although most U.S. patients who wear spherical contact lenses are now wearing lenses with silicone hydrogel material, that is not the case with multifocals. A large opportunity exists for doctors to try to upgrade their patients into more comfortable silicone hydrogel lenses. VISTAKON’s Acuvue Oasys® for PRESBYOPIA is one such lens. Design improvements have not only enhanced the comfort of this lens compared to its predecessor, but the fitting procedures create greater success with less chair time.
CIBA VISION also believes that innovations such as its Air Optix® Aqua Multifocal lenses will bring more presbyopic patients into wearing and staying in contact lenses.
By meeting the needs of those patients who require medically necessary gas permeable (GP) lens products, GP lens manufacturers remain inventive and successful. That’s not to say it’s the only area manufacturers are focusing upon. They are working to educate practitioners and patients that today’s GP lenses and materials are far superior to soft lenses. Even with all the advances in soft lens technology, the quality of vision, comfort of wear, and long-term corneal health are still deemed to be better with GP lenses.
GP lens manufacturers such as Blanchard Contact Lens, Inc. recognize the niche for specialty GP lenses. Blanchard is launching a new multifocal upgrade for its RSS™ (Refractive Surgery Specific) lens. The RSS™ lens is used for post surgical oblate irregular corneas. With Reclaim™ aspheric multifocal optics, these lenses are an excellent option for providing post-surgical presbyopic patients with highly irregular corneas a visual rehabilitative lens for an already stressed cornea. Midlife or
|Doctors and patients continue to see the improved compliance that comes with daily disposables like CooperVision Proclear 1 Day lenses.|
maturing presbyopes who have had RK, AK, or LASIK will benefit from the RSS lens’ add-on feature providing near, intermediate, and distance vision correction with up to a +4.00D add in an aberration control aspheric multifocal optic.
In the world of specialty contact lenses and GP lenses, SynergEyes, Inc. has just released a hybrid contact lens that offers technology never before available to astigmatic patients. With the Duette™ introduction, astigmatic patients will benefit from a combination of visual acuity, comfort, stability, and corneal health. According to the company, the Duette design combines the best technical features of soft silicone hydrogel and GP contact lenses in a new state-of-the-art hybrid lens that retains the GP center and the soft lens skirt.
According to Bausch + Lomb, future products will focus on creating new materials that may decrease wetting angles and reduce deposit buildup on lenses. In addition, designs will become even more advanced in years to come. For example, customized contact lenses that address the needs of each patient are down the road. Improving the correction of presbyopia, astigmatism, myopia, hyperopia, and even higher-order aberrations will become possible with the use of in-office instrumentation and new contact lens design advances.
In fact, VISTAKON believes contact lenses will move beyond just treating refractive conditions to combination products to help treat medical conditions such as allergies and glaucoma.
Overall, the future of contact lens design and materials looks very promising. The development of new materials that improve comfort and performance will hopefully keep current wearers in contact lenses and bring new wearers and previous dropouts into these lenses again.
Eric L. Bran, Professional Editor for Vision Care Product News, is in a private group practice at Ridgefield Family Eye Care and The Institute for Sports Vision in Ridgefield, CT.
WHERE TO FIND IT
Bausch + Lomb
800-828-9030 • bausch.com
Blanchard Contact Lens, Inc.
800-367-4009 • blanchardlab.com
800-241-5999 • cibavision.com
800-341-2020 • coopervision.com
877-SEE-2012 • synergeyes.com
VISTAKON, Division of Johnson
& Johnson Vision Care, Inc.
800-843-2020 • jnjvisioncare.com