contact lens management
Calling All Athletes
This lens provides increased contrast to enhance
contact lenses have been available for athletes for several years. But until Bausch
& Lomb created the Nike Maxsight, they were only available in GP materials.
Although GP lenses are less than optimal for some sporting applications, the technology
was not available to produce the necessary tints in soft materials. With the Maxsight,
however, our athlete-patients have a contact lens that delivers comfort as well
as enhanced performance on the field.
Delivering sharper contrast
Maxsight contacts are task-specific lenses; they
promote sharper vision in just a few, clearly-defined circumstances. The company
achieves this with patented Light Architecture technology that selectively filters
short wavelength visible light. Because it blocks the slightly out-of-focus blue
wavelengths that the eye picks up just in front of the retina, it can eliminate
blurring of images and darken a background to let a specific color, such as a white
ball on a green field, stand out more sharply.
The contact lens works much like the
familiar sport-tinted spectacles. Because it's a contact lens, not only does it
avoid the comfort and safety issue associated with glasses, it covers the entire
surface of the cornea, extending to and past the limbus. The result is a lens that
significantly reduces light leakage from the periphery.
The effect depends on the color of
the lens. The company offers two tints: grey-green and amber.
POWERS: +4.00 to -6.00D
(0.25D steps); -6.50D to -9.00D (0.50D steps);
also in plano
BASE CURVES: 8.40mm to 9.00mm
TINTS: Grey-green and amber
PRICE: $60 to $65 per box of six lenses
UVA AND UVB PROTECTION: More
Match the tint to the sport
The first step in fitting is to select the appropriate
tint for the individual patient. The amber lens is designed for fast-moving ball
sports played in variable light conditions (e.g., baseball, tennis, soccer, etc.).
It allows more orange wavelengths through and filters green out, so that a white
baseball or yellow tennis ball will stand out. Better contrast may help an athlete
detect subtle variations on a playing field.
The grey-green tint is indicated to
increase visual comfort at events held in sunny, glare-prone environments such as
golf and running. It allows more green wavelengths through and creates a sunglass-like
effect to ward off glare. It is recommended for athletes who play outdoors in bright
The lens is made from polymacon, a non-ionic,
low-water content material that resists protein deposits. It blocks more than 95%
of UVA and UVB radiation.
Most of my patients who request Maxsight
lenses are already in hydrogel or silicone hydrogel soft lenses during the day.
They report no difference in comfort with these new lenses.
Though indicated for monthly replacement,
I advise two-week replacement for daily-wear patients. Part-time wearers should
discard them at least monthly. Warn them not to store lenses in hydrogen peroxide
disinfecting solution, because it has no antimicrobial activity once it's neutralized.
Play by the rules
While these lenses are a great help for sports,
make sure patients understand that they must not wear them outside of athletic activities.
This is especially true for driving. I have created a disclosure form that each
of my patients must sign before they can receive their lenses. It states that the
patient understands the lenses are only to be worn during competition or practice,
and that driving in the lenses is a contraindication.
And with my younger patients and plano
wearers, I emphasize the importance of not sharing their contact lenses with others.
Making your pitch
I present the benefits of the Maxsight with a
simple sports analogy. I tell my patients that just as the right piece of equipment
the right bat or appropriate racket can make a difference in
a sport, so can the right kind of vision. It's been my experience that athletes
understand the importance of vision to their performance and the place of performance-enhancing
contact lenses within athletics.
Athletes of all ages have given me
very positive feedback. The younger athletes are particularly excited. One high
school senior told me, "This [lens] could make the difference between whether I
get a scholarship to go to college next year." As a practitioner, that is great
to hear. Incidentally, patient excitement is so great that once a player returns
to his or her team, it spreads from player to player and generates referrals. I'd
say I've gotten about four referrals for every one fit. Some athletes actually end
up buying both tints; they use amber for one sport and grey-green for another.
A practice investment
This lens is the only product that I have ever
offered in the practice for which patients don't even ask about fees. They just
want the lens. I have fit approximately 40 patients without having marketed to them,
so as you can see, their practice-building potential is remarkable.
KELLY KERKSICK, O.D., PRACTICES
AT MIDWEST VISION CARE, IN COLUMBIA, ILL. CONTACT
HER BY E-MAIL AT KERKSICKOD@YAHOO.COM
Optometric Management, Issue: September 2006