28. February 2011 12:33
The progress in the contact lens industry is extremely fast. Manufacturers introduce new lens designs and materials every year, offering their customers better and better products, improving their safety and other important characteristics. However, some patients exhibit adverse reactions to new materials or designs, or simply prefer their current contact lenses. To help them, Alden Optical, Inc., a producer of custom contact lenses (both soft and gas permeable ones) decided to launch the Phoenix Program in 2010.
Now, the programme has been expanded to cover a large number of contact lenses whose production has been stopped by major contact lens producers lately. As part of the Phoenix Program, Alden Optical provides contact lenses made of polymacon, methafilcon, Benz 3X and Benz 5X in all combinations of base curves and diameters. The spherical powers of the lenses range from -30.00D to +30.00 D.
Eye care practitioners participating in the programme contact the company or its distributor, give them the patient’s prescription along with information on the current brand of their contact lenses. Alden Optical makes replacement lens and sends them within two days.
26. February 2011 12:56
An eye care expert argues that contact lenses which have dried out could be saved provided their owner takes appropriate steps.
The problem was raised on a website devoted to providing medical advice, familydoctormag.com. One of the website’s users asked what to do if his contact lenses have dried in their cases, and received an answer from Dr M. Bowes Hamill, who is an associate professor of ophthalmology at the Cullen Eye Institute.
According to Dr Hamill, in some cases, it is possible to use such lenses safely. The user should rehydrate and clean them thoroughly in accordance with the instructions provided by the manufacturer, after which they should be ready and as comfortable as new ones.
However, Dr Hamill warned, it does not always work. Lenses with dirt that has dried on their surface need to be replaced by a fresh pair. Moreover, if any vision problems or irritation occur when ‘saved’ contact lenses are worn, the user should immediately consult an ophthalmologist.
24. February 2011 12:43
In spite of numerous warnings issued by doctors, regulatory agencies and organisations dealing with public health issues, non-prescription circle contact lenses are still widely popular. However, it seems that authorities have started to take the problem seriously and counteract it.
As part of a government action, Thai police has recently raided shops selling circle contact lenses at a mall in Bangkok, confiscating around 10,000 pairs of lenses. In addition, two vendors were arrested during the raid for importing the lenses without a licence (after numerous complaints concerning infections associated with wearing circle lenses, all import licences were revoked and it is now illegal to import such lenses in Thailand).
Circle lenses (often brightly coloured) are extremely popular among young people, as they make eyes look bigger, which has become very fashionable as a result of several pop stars’ videos. The main problem here is the fact that circle lenses are sold without prescription and medical supervision, which greatly increases the risk of a serious infection, even leading to permanent blindness.
22. February 2011 12:29
Even though the number of people who need vision correction increases with age, according to data gathered by CIBA Vision (the manufacturer of Air Optix Night & Day Aqua and other brands of contact lenses) the number of patients using contact lenses is quite low in older age groups. In the 60+ age group, only 5% of those who need vision correction wear contact lenses, which means a tenfold reduction in comparison with the 25-29 age group.
An article published in the latest edition of Contact Lens Spectrum, written by Clarke D. Newman, OD, FAAO, suggests that some presbyopic patients stop using contact lenses for the same reasons that motivate younger patients: dryness, redness, comfort and convenience. However, this does not explain the difference between the age groups; the reason, according to Newman, is the onset of presbyopia.
The fact that most presbyopic patients had very good vision before the age of 40 makes it harder for them to decide to use contact lenses. However, Newman concludes, after the introduction of many new multifocal contact lenses, it is now very easy to find a satisfactory option for almost all presbyopic patients, so the number of contact lens users should grow fast in this age group.
20. February 2011 12:02
The popularity of coloured contact lenses has markedly increased in recent years, due to the success of such films as the Twilight saga and the eccentric image of numerous pop stars (here, Lady Gaga has been probably the most influential). This prompted many warnings with respect to the safety of such contact lenses, but most eye care experts are positive that – if all the standard rules connected with contact lens wear are followed – coloured contact lenses should not cause any concerns.
For instance, the chairman of Eyecare Trust, Dharmesh Patel, stated that cosmetic contact lenses have ceased to be mere fashion accessories, as many people wearing prescription lenses decide to correct their vision with the use of lenses that change their natural eye colour.
In addition, Patel argues, a number of athletes wear coloured contact lenses, because the ones that are tinted grey or green help them see better in certain conditions.
Still, all contact lens users should remember that coloured contact lenses are also subject to the Opticians Act, and they are only safe if bought from an eye care professional.