contact lens management
The right solution is a critical component
to contact lens success.
B. SECOR, O.D., F.A.A.O.
colleagues ask me why I've been successful in building a specialty contact lens
practice, I am quick to point out that you can't be complacent about technology
or you will be left behind. I primarily recommend silicone hydrogel contact lenses
because of their high oxygen transmissibility, wettability, and improved end-of-day
comfort with less redness.
However, technology hasn't eliminated
some age-old compliance issues. In my practice we often see higher rates of infiltrative
keratitis and other hypoxia-associated complications among young adults who may
abuse their lenses more frequently. Here are my tips for beating this problem.
Nipping it in the bud
I've observed that this same patient segment also
can have a high rate of contact lens non-compliance issues whether it's regularly
sleeping in their old HEMA lenses or not caring for them properly. For these patients,
I recommend a continuous-wear silicone hydrogel lens. Providing the most oxygen
permeability available potentially reduces the risk of hypoxic complications and
other problems when patients sleep in their lenses. I also select a solution designed
to maximize the performance and comfort of this advanced material.
Several studies show that 46% to 57% of all contact
lens wearers are non-compliant when it comes to their wear and care schedule. Since
we have limited opportunity to reverse this behavior, we must feel confident that
we've informed patients about why the solutions we recommend are important to their
contact lens success.
People are interested in products that
are effective, simple and fast. For these patients, CIBA Vision's Aquify 5-Minute
multi-purpose solution is a good choice. It can clean and disinfect in a rapid format
so patients know their lenses are ready to wear even when cleaning time is limited.
Currently, no other solutions have five-minute approvals.
to Keep Them Compliant
►Emphasize the difference in lenses and the importance of proper care products to
►Review at each visit the current care products patients are using, correct non-compliant
behavior and explain why.
►Bundling care products with lenses assures compliance with recommended products
and reduces the risk of substitution of non-recommended solutions.
My rule of thumb for silicone hydrogel
contact lens patients who have either sensitive eyes or heavy lipid deposits is
to recommend a peroxide lens care solution. Based on my experience, these provide
the patient with fresher, cleaner, more comfortable lens wear, and reduce surface
depositions. For patients who are sensitive to preservatives, I recommend CIBA Vision's
Clear Care for a thorough cleaning. The elimination of preservatives often reduces
It's the seemingly little things
The bottom line is that you can differentiate
your practice from the majority of others if you take the time to ask your patients
when and how they wear, and how they care for, their contact lenses. Using the proper
care products for these advanced materials can make a big difference in the lens-wearing
experience. It can also reduce the number of unhappy patients, who ultimately could
drop-out of contact lens wear. OM
References available upon request.
DR. SECOR IS IN PRIVATE PRACTICE
IN HUNTINGDON BEACH, CALIF. SHE IS A FELLOW OF THE
AMERICAN ACADEMY OF OPTOMETRY AND A DIPLOMATE
OF THE CORNEA & CONTACT LENS SECTION. SHE IS ALSO
AN EXPERIENCED CLINICAL INVESTIGATOR AND A
FREQUENT LECTURER ON THE TOPIC OF CONTACT LENSES.
Optometric Management, Issue: January 2006