Suppliers have been utilising various modern technologies to improve the experience of contact lens wearers and accommodate diverse needs. This includes extra hydration and comfort, and single and extended depth of focus (EDOF). Exhibitors at 100% Optical emphasised that the latest innovations have been possible because of research and a better understanding of what patients are looking for, as well as exploring how eye care professionals and suppliers can work together to support this.


Leading by example

The recently launched Bausch + Lomb Ultra One Day silicon hydrogel (SiH) daily disposable contact lens was showcased, with attendees informed on lens properties that included comfort, moisture, ocular health and design, the use of two proprietary technologies as well as spherical aberration control. It can be worn for 16 hours, has a base curve of 8.6mm, a diameter of 14.2mm and a UV filter. The Kalifilcon A material has a handling tint and a Dk/t of 134 at -3.00D, it comes in spherical single vision powers from +6.00 to -12.00D.

Dimple Zala, optometrist and head of marketing and professional affairs, UK/I & Nordic, at Bausch + Lomb (B+L), said it's the technology used within its new lens that sets the product apart from other SiH contact lenses. The lens was inspired by the results of the DEWSII report on the tear film and ocular surface. B+L found there were a number of management ingredients and techniques that can be used to help the eyes remain in homeostasis – maintaining a balance in the tear film – and these lenses tap into that, said Zala.

‘This lens incorporates ComfortFeel technology, which consists of osmoprotectants (glycerin and erythritol), moisturisers (glycerin, poloxamine, poloxamer 181), and electrolytes, particularly potassium, which are integrated into the lens material during manufacture. Through passive diffusion over the 16 hours, the tear film or the ocular surface is enriched by those ingredients being released throughout the day.

‘There’s no other lens that releases these propriety blend of ingredients throughout the wear and has this sort of intelligence of being able to support the tear film. In terms of hydration, the lens retains up to 96% moisture, so it’s also the highest water content SiH daily disposable lens on the market,’ she added.

Richard Smith, head of professional services at B+L, Europe & Canada, commented: ‘The Advanced MoistureSeal technology is a proprietary two-phase polymerisation process during the manufacturing, which locks polyvinylpyrrolidone (PvP) into the structure of the lens, making it very wettable. This allows us to have a 55% water content to the lens. At the same time, because of the way we select the silicones in the material, we have Dk/t of 134.’

The product was launched on March 14 and B+L’s professional affairs team has been leading online education and webinars on how the product works and held courses at 100% Optical on the ocular surface and tear film.


Double impact

At the Excel, Positive Impact presented the SynergEyes iD, a hybrid lens for patients with astigmatism, presbyopia, hyperopia and myopia, and designed to each patient’s unique ocular anatomy, utilising keratometric reading, horizontal visible iris diameter and refraction to personalise precise lens parameters. The lenses are available in single vision or EDOF designs, enabled by the Brien Holden Vision Institute, and need to be replaced after six months, as well as dispensed solely through practices.

Nick Atkins, managing director at Positive Impact, highlighted that the lens is unique because it has combined the visual performance of a rigid centre with the comfort of a soft silicon hydrogel skirt. ‘This is particularly good for anyone with astigmatism, and about 45% of patients have one of -0.75D or over. Usually, the real problem comes when patients are presbyopic too as toric multifocals – which are the common choice – haven’t got a reliable fitting. We think it’s a game changer for astigmatic presbyopes.’

Also from Positive Impact was VTI’s NaturalVue Enhanced 1 Day Multifocal contact lens, which also uses EDOF, and is available in the UK exclusively. Due to similarities with its original lens there is no refit required for existing patients.



Atkins said the key differences between the NaturalVue Enhanced 1 Day Multifocal contact lens and its original are that the updated version has a thinner, ultra-tapered edge and includes wetting agents such as hyaluronic acid. ‘Feedback from our team who wear the lenses is that, while they were happily wearing the lens before, the enhanced product is even more comfortable since the introduction of the triple tear lubrication and can be worn for longer.’


Gamification

Johnson & Johnson Vision Care brought its virtual reality (VR) training programme for contact lens opticians to the masses for the first time at 100% Optical. This tool was inspired by a combination of striving for new ways to educate eye care professionals (ECPs) and an aim to enable them to better understand the patient’s experience. The company is increasing its variety of teaching tools, through the range of Acuvue Eye Inspired Innovations, to support practices and ECPs.

Once entering the VR simulation using the headset, wearers were given a set of three clinical case scenarios, including the contact lens prescription given and a near, intermediate and distance visual example of the patient’s experience. The wearer then assessed the efficacy of each visual example, and each time the prescription was varied until the correct fitting is shown.

Rachel Hiscox, professional, education and development manager at Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, said: ‘We want to come up with new ways to engage eye care professionals. So, the whole idea with using virtual reality is to give them a real understanding of what it’s like when they don’t follow the fitting process provided – particularly from a patient experience perspective.

‘It’s there to help train them to understand how to fit successfully, so that they can get better at making those decisions for their patients.’



The VR experience aimed to encourage empathy for patients with poor vision and brings back focus on the responsibility ECPs have to help improve people’s sight accurately.

James Hall, professional affairs consultant at J&J Vision Care, highlighted that when multifocal contact lenses are developed manufacturers create the best fitting protocol through vast testing. However, Hall said ECPs tend to have a favourite lens they will fit a certain way and they will often revert to that process as it is what they have done for years.

‘We’re trying to break through that by showing that if you continue fitting using incorrect guidelines, this is what your patient will experience. It’s really important that when you are fitting multifocal contact lenses you follow the appropriate manufacturer’s fitting guide. We’ve got a clear three-step guide that ensures you get maximum success,’ he added.