Article Date: 11/1/2009

End End-of-Day Discomfort
Contact Lens Focus

End End-of-Day Discomfort

Silicone hydrogel lens line offers comfort-enhancing features.

KEN LOSSMAN, O.D.

Talk to any of your colleagues, and they'll tell you that one of the main reasons their contact lens patients decide to dropout of lens wear is lack of end-of-day comfort. Since I began offering the Cooper-Vision Biofinity lens line (sphere and toric) to address the issue of poor end-of-day comfort, however, I have found that many patients once again enjoy lens wear.

For instance, a 27-year-old female occupational therapist who wore a two-week daily wear toric lens presented reporting she was ready to drop out of contact lens wear because the lenses made her eyes feel "dried out" at the end of her work day. She added that this not only caused great discomfort, but it also made it difficult for her to concentrate on her end-of-day patients, as she could not wait to remove her lenses. I saw this patient for a follow-up visit one week after switching her into the Biofinity Toric lens. At this time, she said she was "ecstatic" with the switch, as from day one of wear, end-of-day discomfort was no longer an issue.

I believe the reason this and other patients I have fit in the Biofinity lens line have maintained comfortable wear is the company's proprietary Aquaform Comfort Science.

Aquaform Comfort Science

This is a hydrogen-bonding technology (comprised of long siloxane polymer chains) that's part of the lens' silicone hydrogel material, comfilcon A. Long siloxane polymer chains create high oxygen permeability — in this case a Dk of 128 — which increases oxygen flow to the cornea for normal metabolism.

Biofinity Aspheric Lens
MATERIAL: comfilcon A
DK/T: 160 (at -3.00D)
WATER CONTENT: 48%
SCHEDULE: Daily/extended wear for up to six nights/seven days of continuous day and night wear.
RECOMMENDED REPLACEMENT SCHEDULE: Monthly
BASE CURVE: 8.6mm
DIAMETER: 14.0mm
PATIENT COST: About $50 per six-pack.

In addition, because the lens is inherently wettable and has a low wetting angle (19°), enabling it to disseminate water evenly on the lens surface, it doesn't require wetting additives or surface treatments.

Further, its ability to constantly lubricate itself has made it highly resistant to deposits — a cause or exacerbation of dry eye.

Finally, the lens' low modulus — 0.75MPa — makes it soft, which enhances its comfort.

The end result: a moist lens throughout the day.

As a brief aside, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the CooperVision Biofinity lens line's rounded edge design as a possible reason for improved end-of-day comfort. After all, I have had several patients comment on the lack of lens awareness from this lens. That being said, given all the comfort-enhancing components of the Aquaform Comfort Science, I don't think the rounded edge design has had nearly the same level of impact as this technology on improved end-of-day comfort.

In-practice results

When I discuss the Biofinity lens line with patients, especially those patients who've dropped out of contact lens wear due to end-of-day discomfort, I tell them the technology now exists to fit them in a silicone hydrogel lens that offers several features to enable comfortable all-day wear. I'm pleased to report that more often than not, these patients agree to the twoweek trial period, with most becoming contact lens wearers once again. The success rate of this lens line with first-time wearers has been significant as well.

This has not only made these patients stick with my practice, but it has also attracted a new pool of contact lens patients for my practice. In other words, many of the CooperVision Biofinity lens line wearers have actually talked with their friends and family members about their experience with their lens and the fact that I offer it. This has resulted in increases in practice revenue, though not just from fitting fees.

The fact is these patients also browse our dispensary for eyewear and see me for their medical eye care as well. I'm not going to give all the credit to the CooperVision Biofinity lens line. But, I think that because I offer this as well as other cutting-edge eyecare products, it reinforces to patients that I'm a cutting-edge practitioner who can provide them with the best care.

If you're looking for a way to boost your contact lens practice and other areas of your practice as well, I suggest you consider offering the Biofinity lens line, which currently includes, aspherical, and toric products. A Biofinity Multifocal is planned for 2010. OM


DR. KEN LOSSMAN IS PRESIDENT AND FOUNDER OF LOSSMAN EYE CARE ASSOCIATES. THE GROUP PRACTICE HAS EIGHT OPTOMETRISTS AND FIVE OFFICES IN THE NORTHWEST SUBURBS OF CHICAGO. E-MAIL HIM AT KLOSSMAN@LOSSMANEYECARE.COM.

Optometric Management, Issue: November 2009