Article Date: 10/1/2004

contact lens management
A Successful Hybrid
The EZ Eyes GP bifocal lens serves both patient and practitioner.

I graduated from optometry school more than 35 years ago. During the past three and a half decades of private practice, I have watched rigid contact lenses evolve from hard (PMMA) to a plethora of GP materials. Some have low transmission of oxygen and others are now approved for overnight wear. Some wet easily and others don't. However, I haven't seen a bifocal GP lens that works well until recently.

Searching for a solution

In the past, most optometrists have tried monovision. Success with this method has been fair at best. The next phase in the evolution process was variable focus lenses, which gave us reasonable success as long as the add wasn't too strong (+2.00 or more). During this time, segmented bifocal GPs were also available but with those, even the best contact lens practitioners have had only so-so success. Until now.

For the past several months, I've been using a new GP bifocal from ABBA Optical. This new bifocal, called EZ Eyes, is a hybrid of a variable focus and a segmented bifocal. Even though I'm not from Missouri, you have to "show me" that a new product works. Owner Lee Dickerson talked to me about trying this new lens on my next candidate for a GP bifocal.

The lenses worked so well on the first candidate that I tried them on a second, a third and fourth patient. The results: Distance vision was sharp (20/20 to 20/25), intermediate vision was clear, and at normal reading distance, patients could read J2.As they say, the rest is history. I've used the EZ Eyes on 20 to 25 patients over the last seven to 10 months and I'm getting more than 90% success. Patients report that they can wear the lenses all day. In trying bifocal hard/GPs for the last 30-plus years, I've never achieved such success.

The EZ Eyes is a hybrid of a variable focus and a segmented bifocal.

Get the perfect fit

You can fit this lens one of two ways:

1. You can give the lab your refraction, including the patient's add and keratometer readings.

2. Use single-vision trial lenses (this is my preference).

Fit the lenses with a parallel fit. Determine your distance power for each eye and your normal diameter lens. Call the lab and, from these measurements and the patient's add, they can design a lens. Average parameters are 9.5 to 9.8 diameter, 0.8 below geometric center seg height and an add that is approximately two-thirds of the patient's add.

After you dispense the lenses, let them equilibrate for 10 to 15 minutes. Check far and near acuity and overrefract. Make sure the lenses translate to the add and note your findings.

One of the advantages to this lens is that you can raise or lower the seg height depending on the patient's lid structure or preference. At times you may need to order a second pair and, rarely, a third pair. As I've become more experienced with these lenses, the exchanges have occurred less and less. ABBA Optical offers a 90-day guarantee, which minimizes your financial risk.

Easy does it

Have I suddenly become an expert at fitting bifocal contacts lenses? I doubt it. Though I consider myself better than average in contact lens fitting, I must give credit where credit is due: To the new EZ Eyes.



Optometric Management, Issue: October 2004