Chris Bennett: The rise of the multifocal contact lens
Author: Chris Bennett
It’s fitting that this week’s issue should not only be themed around multifocal contact lenses but also that Britain has become the first country in the world to get Johnson & Johnson’s multifocal Fitting Calculator.
Multifocal contact lenses have come a long way but throughout this week’s issue we sense how much further they have to go. Presbyopia is a personal topic so we have injected some personal experiences of multifocals I would urge all readers to consider.
Not surprisingly there is sage advice from Keith Tempany who cautions the younger practitioners’ view. It is difficult for those, lucky enough not to have experienced presbyopia, to understand the impact on daily life, Tempany’s provides pearls indeed on managing expectations.
Optician called on another Keith – Hassell – as a troublesome patient to test Ultravision. Its clinical director, Lynn White, is well known for her ‘always say “yes” to fitting a soft lens’ mantra and long term RGP wearer, oblique astigmatic and presbyope, Hassell, certainly lived up to his name.
As it launches the Fitting Calculator J&J cautions that fitting multifocal contact lenses can be time consuming and the Calculator systematically speeds that process. Perhaps I have been fortunate but my multifocal fits, most recently at the hands of David Clulow’s Tessa Forde (Tried and Tested, page 12), have been pleasant and swift.
Contact lens trends (Optician 07.09.18) show how in 10 years multifocals have risen from 11% to 25% of the new design fit pie. There are many factors driving that forward: new materials, better designs but most importantly wearers who want to stay in lenses.
Middleagers are more active and image conscious than ever, living lives built for multifocal contact lens wear.