Article Date: 11/1/2005

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contact lens management

The Plus Equals Greater Comfort
New lens provides relief for situational dryness.

I practice in one of the highest, driest, windiest cities in the country. Cheyenne, Wyo., sits at more than 6,000 feet above sea level, with constant wind and very low relative humidity. Needless to say, it's a challenging environment for our contact lens wearers, many of whom complain about end-of-day dryness and irritation. In just the past three months since I began using the new Acuvue Oasys Brand Contact Lenses with Hydraclear Plus from Vistakon, my patients' overwhelmingly positive response has already made it my lens of choice.

Relieving dryness

Acuvue Oasys is a daily wear, two-week replacement contact lens made from senofilcon A, a smooth new silicone hydrogel material. It features an improvement to the Hydraclear technology found in the Acuvue Advance, a good lens that does offer greater comfort, but didn't fully alleviate the dryness that is so common among patients in Wyoming.

I'm very pleased to offer my patients even greater improved comfort and wettability with Acuvue Oasys. The silicone material provides high oxygen flux, which is healthy and more comfortable for the eye, with no tradeoff in quality of vision. Additionally, it's important to me that this lens blocks 99% of UVB rays and 96% of UVA rays.

My patients — including some who weren't successful in wearing other contact lenses — are reporting crisp, clear vision and say they are able to wear their Acuvue Oasys lenses for as long as 12 to 16 hours per day.

The Oasys is particularly suited for patients in dryer climates.

Match the lens to the patient

In our climate, Acuvue Oasys is ideal for nearly everyone, but particularly for those who spend a lot of time outside or for office workers who spend their days sitting at a computer. Blink rates drop significantly at the computer, so we often find that heavy computer users complain about their eyes feeling uncomfortable from mid-day onward. Age, frequent travel, and certain medications can exacerbate the dryness these patients experience. My own patients have reported that they don't need to use rewetting drops as often with this lens.

Although this lens does an excellent job of masking small amounts of cylinder, patients with more than 1.00D of astigmatism or against-the-rule astigmatism may not be the best candidates. Similarly, I would probably recommend another contact lens for patients who want to sleep in their lenses, because Oasys is not FDA-approved for overnight wear. Other than in those narrow circumstances, it has worked well for my other patients, including some who had given up on contact lenses.

Less dropouts, more referrals

Having tried the lens now on well over 100 patients with only one failure, I can honestly say it's one of the most comfortable contact lenses I've seen in 14 years of practice. Patients appreciate the all-day comfort and ease of handling. For my part, it centers and fits extremely well, despite having only one base curve available, so chair time for lens fitting and complaints about dryness have been reduced.

Best of all, when my patients are happier with their contact lenses, they're less likely to become contact lens dropouts who are lost to the practice. And they are more likely to be sufficiently satisfied with their experience to recommend our practice to friends and family. That gives me a great deal of gratification. OM

Optometric Management, Issue: November 2005