Article Date: 8/1/2004

Fresh from the AOA 2004
Companies roll out new products at the 107th Congress.
RENÉ LUTHE, Senior Associate Editor

Companies eager to test their latest products with eyecare practitioners made sure to attend "optometry's meeting," the American Optometric Association Congress, in June. Offerings ranged from contact lens care solutions to diagnostics to imaging systems to visual acuity charts. Below is a sampling of the product introductions made at the recent AOA meeting.

The Z-View Aberrometer uses wavefront technology to create the Z-Lens.

ReNu with MoistureLoc protects against protein buildup as well as keeps lenses comfortable.

Canon's Eye Q captures ultra high-resolution images and is user friendly.

Blink is suitable for both GP and soft contact lenses.

The Humphrey Matrix is more comfortable for the patient.

Wavefront comes to lenses

Ophthonix presented the Z-Lens, a new product of wavefront technology. The lens delivers "excellent acuity, better contrast and minimal glare or distortion" -- better than "the best 20/20 natural vision," Ophthonix claims. Three steps are involved in making the Z-Lens:

1. Measure the eye with the Z-View Aberrometer, which uses wavefront technology to map refractive errors. It measures lower- and higher-order refractive errors, enabling the Z-Lens to correct halos, fuzziness, shadows and other errors that mar visual acuity, as well as myopia and hyperopia.

2. Another technology translates the measurements from the Z-View into a prescription, and provides a prescription for conventional eyeglasses. The exam requires no patient input.

3. The Ophthonix lens programmer programs the prescription into the lens material. This process doesn't touch the surface of the lens or remove material; "rather, it changes the actual optical properties of the material," the company says.

The Z-Lens will be available to consumers at the end of this year, with a contact lens version available in 2005.

Building a better test

Precision Vision introduced new vision tests, including the Patti Pics optotype test for preliterate children. They adhere to the Snellen principle and are calibrated to provide the same acuities as Sloan letters, the company said. A study of 14 adults found no significant differences between Patti Pics and Sloan letter acuities. The test is available in all the popular formats.

Save your dropouts

Commercially available in September, Bausch & Lomb touts its newest contact lens care product, ReNu with MoistureLoc, as "the first and only multi-purpose solution that may improve comfort in patients experiencing dryness," as well as the only product with this claim in the FDA-cleared labeling.

At the AOA, B&L soaked giant-sized contact lenses in its new solution and in competitors' products to show how ReNu with MoistureLoc surrounds a contact lens with a long-lasting cushion of moisture that provides sustained comfort. The solution also acts as a protective shield against protein buildup.

Retinal imaging grows

Canon's Eye Q Digital Retinal Imaging System enables eyecare practitioners to instantly capture ultra high-resolution digital images for review and storage, or for sending electronically. It requires no dilation of the pupil. It comes equipped with XML interface for universal software and Internet capability. The Eye Q features a Windows-style format. It offers a full range of image manipulation, allowing users to enhance imagery detail and measure cup-to-disc ratios. Canon offers two versions of the device: the Eye Q Lite and the Eye Q Pro.

New & improved lubrication

AMO launched Blink Contacts, a "new generation" of rewetting eye drops suitable for both soft and GP contact lenses. Blink contains hyaluronate (HA), a naturally occurring lubricant found throughout the body. The HA in Blink features viscoelastic properties that mimic the behavior of natural tears, providing high viscosity before and after a blink to keep the eye moisturized longer. AMO says that Blink Contacts contains the highest available concentration of HA, resulting in prolonged tear break-up time. This in turn produces longer-lasting moisture that keeps eyes comfortable.

Earlier glaucoma diagnosis

Carl Zeiss Meditec's Humphrey Matrix features Frequency Doubling Technology, which enables you to detect visual field defects at an early stage. The device offers rapid screening (approximately 45 seconds) and complete threshold test results. Its glaucoma management functions include complete characterization of visual field defects with the help of 69 stimuli, change analysis and Glaucoma Hemifield Test, threshold strategies (30-2, 24-2, N-30, 10-2, Macula test) and screening tests (N-30, 24-2).


Optometric Management, Issue: August 2004