30. June 2012 07:54
Most patients, when choosing their contact lenses, pay attention mostly to the comfort and safety they offer, which usually leads them to select soft contacts. However, if visual acuity is the most important factor, Dr Ronald K. Watanabe recommends trying rigid gas permeable (GP) contact lenses.
According to the expert, there are several reasons for which rigid contact lenses tend to offer sharper vision. One of them is the fact that their optics do not change shape, which happens to soft contacts. Another thing is that rigid contact lenses are able to correct astigmatism without a toric design. In addition, they are better at reducing higher-order aberrations that hydrogel and silicone hydrogel lenses.
The recent improvements in GP technology, Dr Watanabe assures, mean that their comfort is comparable to that of soft contact lenses and the process of adaptation is not as long as it used to be. They are therefore worth considering as an excellent vision correction option, particularly when extremely high visual acuity is necessary.
29. June 2012 13:40
In 2005, a number of contact lens wearers were affected by Fusarium keratitis, an eye condition caused by Fusarium fungi. The outbreak was related to the ineffectiveness of a certain contact lens solution and resulted in manufacturers’ making substantial changes in the composition and activity of their products, improving their capability of killing free-floating Fusarium. However, their efficacy against the fungus’s biofilms has not been tested until now.
When free-floating fungus forms biofilms, it becomes more resistant and it is more difficult to get rid of it with the use of a contact lens solution. A study carried out by Retuerto, Szczotka-Flynn and Ho found that hydrogen peroxide lens care products removed F. solani biofilms from the surface of contact lenses, but three out of five tested multipurpose solutions failed to do so. The situation was similar when the researchers used F. oxysporum biofilms.
The results, contact lens expert Dr Susan J. Gromacki pointed out in her comment on the study report, explain why fungal keratitis is still sometimes diagnosed in contact lens users. In addition, Dr Gromacki stated that more such studies are needed to understand the disease process fully.
28. June 2012 07:42
A recent study has found that approximately one in seven adult Canadians may be living with vision loss.
The study, referred to as the Canadian Uncorrected Refractive Error Study (CURES), was carried out by CNIB and the University of Waterloo’s School of Optometry. According to Dr Barbara Robinson, an epidemiologist at UW’s School of Optometry and the lead investigator of the study, CURES was the first study to provide population-based data on the incidence of visual impairment in the country.
The expert added that three quarters of the individuals who participated in the study and had vision problems could quickly solve them by wearing appropriate contact lenses or glasses.
These results were not very surprising to Dr Keith Gordon, the vice president of research at CNIB, as similar data were obtained in the United States and Australia, where most vision issues were easy to solve with contact lenses or spectacles and resulted from the fact that patients rarely visit their eye care practitioners.
Gordon added that researchers failed to explain the reasons for the attitude patients have towards eye care, which is quite worrying.
27. June 2012 07:36
Filamentary keratitis is a persistent and often recurrent eye condition. However, as Dr Joseph P. Shovlin points out in his article in Review of Optometry, there are a number of treatment options, including the use of contact lenses.
Bandage contact lenses (most often worn for two days and used in combination with eye drops) are very beneficial in moderate to severe filamentary keratitis, Dr Shovlin assures. They protect the damaged eye epithelium from additional damage that the eyelids could cause with their movements. Thanks to this protection, the epithelium can regenerate more easily and the probability of the recurrence of the condition is much lower.
The eye drops that are used in patients with filamentary keratitis include steroids (decreasing the intensity of inflammation), artificial tears (lubricating the cornea and removing discomfort), immunomodulators (reducing inflammation and increasing fluid production), 5% hypertonic solution (lowering corneal filament formation).
Recently, Botox has been successfully used to treat filamentary keratitis, but, as Dr Shovlin states, there is still need for more research to verify the effectiveness of Botox therapy.
26. June 2012 08:54
All contact lens users, an eye care expert has recently warned, need to undergo an eye exam at least once a year.
A person’s refractive error (making it necessary for them to wear contact lenses or glasses) can change at any time, Dr Stephen H. Uretsky, a board-certified ophthalmologist from Coastal Jersey Eye Centre, stated in a recent interview. This means, the expert added, that there is a serious risk of wearing inappropriate contact lenses (which significantly increases the chances of developing dangerous complications, such as infection) if one does not visit his or her eye care practitioner regularly.
In addition, frequent eye exams help to diagnose many potentially blinding diseases, e.g. glaucoma, which are fairly easy to treat provided they are discovered in time. Another thing, Dr Uretsky believes, is that checkups are an opportunity to be fitted with the newest, most comfortable and safest contact lenses available, as lens manufacturers introduce new versions of their products as often as twice a year.