Article Date: 7/1/2007

A Color for Everyone
contact lens management

JOHN R. MARTINELLI, O.D.

A Color for Everyone

Colored lens' benefits are black and white.

The one constant of Martinelli Eye and Laser Centers through some 40 years of practice has been our goal of providing personalized, state-of-the-art eye care. One of the ways we've accomplished this is by offering patients the Acuvue 2 Colours lens, from Vistakon.

Comfort and assorted colors

Acuvue 2 Colours have a high water content (58%) and are ultra-thin (center thickness is 0.084mm). As a result, patients we have fit in these lenses report optimum comfort.

Acuvue claims that the thin edge design and layer of clear polymer covering the pigment yields a higher probability of comfort — provided oxygen permeability, hydration, durability, resistance to contamination and optical precision are not compromised, according to in-house research.

Another comfort feature: These lenses match more than 90% of the fit of all Acuvue brand lenses, reducing the amount of chair time I have to spend with many of these patients.

Patients with light or dark-colored irises can choose from seven opaque colors, which completely change any eye color.

Those with light-colored irises can choose from three Enhancer colors (see information box, right).

Patients with a natural dark-brown iris tend to choose sapphire blue most often, perhaps because the contrast with a dark complexion and dark hair allows for a more dramatic appearance. The Enhancer lenses appear more natural, especially with lighter complexions.

Coloring their world

Approximately 25% of our practice's contact-lens patients select lenses that change or enhance their eye color. I attribute this percentage mainly to the fact that I offer a colored lens to every patient for whom contact-lens wear is not contraindicated.

Nearly 100% of our color contact-lens wearers are fit in Acuvue 2 Colours.

Historically, colored contact-lens wearers tended to be women in their teens to 30s. While these populations are still, no doubt, the largest to seek out these lenses, we've found that three recent developments have made colored lenses a popular choice for all patients.

Fashion. Colored lenses have become more widely accepted as a fashion accessory. Trends in our practice have shown that more and more men are interested and receptive to the option.

Ocular cosmesis. Colored lenses are a useful option for ocular disfigurements, such as an irregular iris — precluding practitioners from having to search for a custom-made lens for these patients.

Acuvue Colours 2
Opaque Colors: sapphire blue, deep blue, pearl gray, jade green, hazel green, warm honey and chestnut brown.
ENHANCER COLORS: ocean blue, aquamarine or emerald green.
MATERIAL: etafilcon A
WEAR SCHEDULE: Daily wear for up to two weeks or continuous wear for up to six nights
WATER CONTENT: 58%
DK/T: 28
BASE CURVES: Enhancers: 8.3mm and 8.7mm; opaque 8.3mm
DIAMETER: 14.0mm
LENS POWERS: plano to -6.00D (in 0.25D steps), -6.50D to -9.00D (in 0.50D steps) and +0.25D to +6.00D (in 0.25D steps)
CONSUMER COST: The average cost for a three-month supply of AV2C is between $85 and $95 before any rebates. Consumers can visit www.acuvue.com and/or talk to their practitioner about rebates/special offers.

Although Acuvue 2 Colours does not carry this indication, in my practice, I've found that the relative "masking" quality of the opaque lenses can hide certain ocular pathologies, such as albinism, congenital aniridia, anisocoria, traumatic iridodialysis, surgically acquired iris distortion and corneal scarring, among other conditions.

The relative "masking" quality of the opaque lenses can hide certain ocular pathologies, such as albinism and surgically acquired iris distortion, among others.

Often with certain conditions, the ability of a more opaque lens to create an artificial pupil can also provide significant improvement with respect to visual acuity and glare.

Visible tint. Colored contact lenses have become a practical option for both hyperopic and presbyopic patients who often report finding the visibility of colored lenses helpful for both lens insertion and removal.

Many early presbyopic patients wear their contact lenses less often because they say they begin having handling difficulties. Others report they would like to wear contact lenses but are reluctant to try them due to poor near vision and their concern with handling. I've found that a colored contact lens is a perfect solution and can be the difference between fitting success and failure.

The bottom line: For our practice, the question is not why offer the Acuvue 2 Colours lens, but why not. OM

DR. MARTINELLI SPECIALIZES IN MEDICAL EYE CARE AND GLAUCOMA AT MARTINELLI EYE AND LASER CENTERS, WHICH HAS OFFICES IN CHARLEROI AND UNIONTOWN, PA. YOU CAN CONTACT HIM AT JRM@MARTINELLIEYECARE. COM.


Optometric Management, Issue: July 2007