Article Date: 11/1/2004

The Oxygen Opportunity
When the oxygen transmissibility bar is raised, so is patient comfort.
S. BARRY EIDEN, O.D., F.A.A.O.

In a typical practice, between 60% and 80% of soft contact lens patients wear daily wear, two-week replacement lenses. While some have moved out of the modality in favor of a hyper-Dk/t silicone hydrogel lens for continuous wear or for the convenience of daily disposability, many practitioners find that most of their patients are content with their two-week replacement schedule.

Give them a new experience

For this large segment of patients, we now have the opportunity to improve these patients' comfort and eye health without asking them to change their routine. This opportunity presents itself in the form of O2OPTIX, a new silicone hydrogel lens that provides more than five times the oxygen (Dk/t 138) of the leading soft contact lens and a 62% greater Dk/t value than the leading two-week replacement lens.

In our three-O.D., one-M.D. practice, where we were involved in the clinical trials for CIBA Vision's O2OPTIX, we find that patients respond well to this new lens. The O2OPTIX lens, we explain, is specifically designed for those patients who prefer to remove their lenses at night. In my experience, the lens has shown itself to be superior in the overall eye health response, with comfort and handling equal to or better than other soft lenses. These points help make this lens applicable for virtually all patients whose prescriptions fall within the parameters of ­1.00D to ­6.00D.


CIBA Vision's silicone hydrogel lens

Living up to its promise

The superb oxygen transmission means a more comfortable lens for patients who've had issues with contact lens-related dryness, end-of-day discomfort or chronic conjunctival injection. While the numbers from the clinical trial were relatively small, my post-trial experience has shown similar positive results. Patients report that they can wear their lenses more comfortably for longer hours. Patients' eyes also generally look whiter after switching to O2OPTIX.

For those practices where patients have been reluctant to try new lenses -- or practitioners have been hesitant about prescribing a different wearing regimen -- O2OPTIX presents a tremendous opportunity. Some patients who could benefit from a silicone hydrogel lens had been unwilling or uninterested in switching to a continuous wear option. It can be challenging to explain to patients that new technology has benefits for them when they're generally satisfied with the wearing regimen and comfort of their current lens. In my experience, those who were hesitant to try Night & Day, for example, have been willing to try O2OPTIX because the familiar two-week replacement cycle felt like less of a change.

Doing our part

Many patients see technological improvements in a wide variety of products, but we don't expect them to keep up with what's new in contact lenses. That's our job. I believe in seeking out and adopting new diagnostic and treatment technologies.

In my experience, persuading patients to try the O2OPTIX results in whiter, healthy-looking eyes, comfortable full-day wear, more satisfied patients and greater professional esteem for the practitioner who keeps up with innovations in the industry.

DR. EIDEN IS THE PRESIDENT AND MEDICAL DIRECTOR OF NORTH SUBURBAN VISION CONSULTANTS, LTD. IN DEERFIELD, ILL., AND IS AN ASSISTANT CLINICAL PROFESSOR AT THE UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS, CHICAGO AND AN ADJUST FACULTY MEMBER OF THE ILLINOIS COLLEGE OF OPTOMETRY AND PENNSYLVANIA COLLEGE OF OPTOMETRY.

 


Optometric Management, Issue: November 2004