Article Date: 4/1/2002

Contact Lens Management
Beating the Astigmatism Blues
Thumbs up for the Biomedics Toric contact lens.
BY DEEPAK GUPTA, O.D., F.A.A.O.

With statistics stating that more than 50 million Americans have clinically significant astigmatism, the need for effective toric contact lens correction is vital. Let's see what Ocular Sciences' Biomedics Toric planned replacement contact lens can do for your patients and practice.

Designed for stability

Like the Biomedics 55, this lens is made of ocufilcon D and is designed for 2-week planned replacement. It has an 8.7-mm base curve, 14.5 mm diameter and a Dk value of 19.6. It's available in a sphere power of plano to -6.00D in 0.25D increments, with cylinder powers of 0.75, 1.25 and 1.75 in 10-degree steps from 0 to 180 degrees.

The lens is a dry, cast-molded back surface toric that features a patented ballast design with horizontal isothickness. This design improves lens stability, reduces lens rotation with blink and stabilizes visual acuity.

The wide ballast band, which completely encircles the optic zone, optimizes the area of lid/lens interaction, maximizing stability and providing consistency of fit.

The Biomedics Toric also contains a constant ballast between powers to increase fitting ease and lens consistency.

The Biomedics Toric lens provides lens stability and consistency of fit.

Fit for a king

Fitting this lens is simple. Most of you will find that it achieves a clinically satisfactory fit with the first trial. Of the 20 patients I've fitted with this lens so far, only two required a second lens to adjust for rotation and none required a third. This translates to a 90% first-time fit rate. All of the patients were happy with the visual acuity, handling and comfort.

This lens also has a nice spherical counterpart. Several other good toric lenses exist, but they pose a dilemma if the patient is spherical in one eye: Do you fit the inferior spherical lens to maintain the same brand or fit the better product using a different brand in each eye?

Because the market trend is to direct-ship a 1-year's supply, using two brands is often not possible or cost effective. For the Biomedics Toric, however, this isn't a problem.

Other advantages

Ocular Sciences tends to market directly to practitioners only. This leaves you free to choose the lens you think is best for the patient.

One big advantage Ocular Sciences offers is the "no practitioner, no slit lamp, no lens" rule aimed at helping you compete against outside sources. According to the company's numbers, 90% of patients using Ocular Sciences lenses return to their prescribing practitioner for replacements, as compared to 60% to 70% for more heavily promoted consumer products.

Although I'm not sure that 90% is realistic, I do think that fitting lenses that aren't readily available elsewhere will dramatically increase the number of patients purchasing lenses through your office. To help us compete with other sources, the company offers a $40 rebate to patients who purchase the lens through your office. Thus, the patient can save money without cutting into your profit margin.

Reaching for excellence

After analyzing the results of my experience with the Biomedics Toric, I've decided that it's one of the first lenses I'll reach for when fitting or refitting a patient. The Biomedics Toric will benefit your patients and your practice too.

DR. GUPTA PRACTICES AT STAMFORD OPHTHALMOLOGY IN STAMFORD, CONN. HE HAS NO FINANCIAL INTERESTS IN ANY OF THE PRODUCTS OR COMPANIES MENTIONED IN THE ARTICLE. YOU CAN REACH HIM AT DEEGUP4919@HOTMAIL.COM.

 


Optometric Management, Issue: April 2002