Article Date: 5/1/2002

CONTACT LENS MANAGEMENT
Maybe You Can Please Everyone
Who's eligible for the SofLens One Day contact lens? You'll be surprised. 
BY STEPHEN BYRNES, O.D.

Most practitioners recommend daily disposable contact lenses for occasional lens wearers, weekend athletes, socialites and water-sport enthusiasts. But through experience with Bausch & Lomb's SofLens One Day disposable contact lens, I've discovered additional potential patients. Read on to see who might benefit.

But first, about the lens

The SofLens One Day is a great introductory device for the primary eye care practice. The wide power range (+6.50 D to -9.00 D) and single base curve (8.60 mm) are appropriate for most prescriptions. Its enhanced center thickness provides easier handling and makes it simpler to tell if the lens is inverted. SofLens One Day also incorporates a blue handling tint so patients can more readily find a misplaced lens or one that's dislodged on the eye.

The SofLens can be a great introductory contact lens.

The SofLens One Day is packaged in sheets of 15 lenses that can be separated into strips of 5 -- great for the frequent traveler. It's available in boxes of 15 or 30. The 90-count box is the patient's best value. For orders exceeding $50, Bausch & Lomb provides free direct shipping to the patient's home. The lens blister is the same mold on which the lens was shaped.

This lens (made of hilafilcon A, 70% water, non-ionic) is the thickest of the three daily disposable lens choices, yet Dk/t is still more than sufficient for daily wear. The edge of the SofLens One Day is slightly thicker and more rounded that those of its competitors. This edge design, combined with the low dehydration characteristic of hilafilcon A, makes the lens less likely to dry and curl away from the eye between blinks, so it's more comfortable, particularly towards the end of the day.

Try these patients

Daily disposable lenses are fine for all patients and you don't need a special reason to fit them, but here are some patients you may not have considered.

The heavy coater. Patients who wear heavy makeup or use skin moisturizers around the eyes can develop lipid and protein deposits on contact lenses during daily wear. My patients find that fresh lenses don't coat as quickly as multi-use ones.

Astigmatic patients. RGP lens patients and those who can tolerate a spherical equivalent correction will appreciate single-use lenses that provide adequate vision while they're awaiting their specialty lenses.

Orthokeratology (Ortho-K) supplementation patients. Because the residual powers Ortho-K patients occasionally need are typically very low minus, the enhanced peripheral thickness and easy handling of the SofLens One Day lens make it their preferred choice. As Ortho-K treatment progresses, dispense the lens for residual correction. Some Ortho-K patients also need mild end-of-the-day prescriptions to enhance vision.

Keratoconus patients. Patients who can't achieve adequate comfort or develop persistent 3 o'clock and 9 o'clock staining may benefit from piggy-backing the original RGP lens on top of this lens. They also enjoy the added comfort and minimal lens care.

Patients taking ocular medications. Allergy sufferers and glaucoma patients require medication for their conditions. Benzalkonium chloride, a common preservative in ocular medication, may cause corneal irritation if allowed to build up within a soft lens.

SofLens' hilafilcon A, combined with daily replacement, minimizes that risk for the soft lens patients who don't remove their lenses before instilling drops.

Children. This lens can benefit children in many ways:

A simple pricing program (no coupon hassle) and the convenience of a practitioner-directed home delivery options (B&L Lens Sender program) give parents convenience and value while reducing your inventories and improving profitability.

Chronic allergy sufferers. The SofLens can reduce on-eye antigens because it's changed every day.

And more. Patients in contact-lens-restrictive environments (windy, dusty, dirty, laden with chemicals or contaminants) would benefit from this lens. You might also demonstrate the advantages of contact lens wear to spectacle patients or introduce the presbyopic patient to monovision.

All contact lens patients appreciate single-use lenses for swimming pools or days at the beach.

Look around you

So look around at your patients. You might well find that many more than you'd expected are candidates for the SofLens. Trying it may benefit them -- and your practice, too.

Note: Some of these uses are off-label and do not have the endorsement of Bausch & Lomb.

STEPHEN BYRNES MAINTAINS A PRIVATE OPTOMETRIC PRACTICE IN LONDONDERRY, N.H. HE'S A MEMBER OF THE CLINICAL FACULTY AT THE NEW ENGLAND COLLEGE OF OPTOMETRY AND IS AN ACADEMIC CONSULTANT FOR B&L AND POLYMER TECHNOLOGY.

 


Optometric Management, Issue: May 2002