Patient Success Story: Getting Contacts in Time for Prom

Posted by CooperVision on Tuesday, May 17, 2011

It's prom season. Most high school students spend the weeks leading up to prom prepping for the event - ordering flowers, renting a tux, shopping for the perfect dress. But what if you're a busy high school student who wears glasses, has a difficult-to-fit prescription, and wants to go to prom glasses-free? Maybe you've tried contacts before but never really had the best luck? Make an appointment to discuss CooperVision contacts with your eye care provider - CooperVision offers the most complete collection of spherical, toric and multifocal products available. Dr. Alan Glazier from Shady Grove Eye and Vision Care in Rockville, Maryland, shares a patient success story for one frustrated-turned-happy high school senior who was able to go to prom glasses-free:

Imagine this – you are a 17 year old senior – prom is less than a week away – you are being fit for contact lenses – you have a difficult contact lens prescription, the first few visits the lenses didn’t work for one reason or another and frustration is mounting as you wonder if contact lenses exist that may work for you.   Because of your high prescription, your lenses aren’t in stock at the doctors office. To make matters worse, with the narrow window of time before prom, there was no guarantee the lenses would arrive in time.

Fortunately, the representative from one of the leading contact lens manufacturers, CooperVision (Brian Christie) overheard some of the conversation.  CooperVision had recently expanded the parameters of trial contact lenses they provided to doctors offices, including extremely high powered lenses.  Brian reminded the technicians at Shady Grove Eye and Vision Care that he had days ago stocked the high powered trial lenses my anxious young patient needed.   CooperVision's extremely comfortable Proclear brand’s parameters were expanded to include powers high enough for almost any myopic prescription. Sure enough, there they were.  Dr. Glazier proceeded to fit the Proclear soft contact lenses. The Monthly disposable lenses fit my patient beautifully, gave her perfect 20/20 vision and she left with a smile from ear to ear, comforted in the knowledge that she would see well at her one and only senior prom.

Top takeaways:  Encourage your children and teenagers to get their eyes checked regularly, especially when wearing contact lenses.  Parents who don’t suspect any problems with their children's eyes should have them checked by age 4 at the latest.  If there is a pressing need for contact lenses, give yourself a two week leadtime, and for glasses at least 10 days.

Thank you Brian Christie and CooperVision!  

High Tech Contact Lenses? Part 2

Posted by Harvard Sylvan, OD on Tuesday, April 6, 2010

What do stents, catheters, and contact lenses have in common?  As one is metal, one is rubber and one is made from a combination of water and plastic, there wouldn’t appear to be any similarities.  So, what exactly do they have in common?  To perform properly, they all need protection from protein deposits.  Stents and catheters need protection against proteins found in blood plasma and contact lenses need protection from deposits formed by protein in tears.

There are two things to which all contact lens wearers can relate – dryness and discomfort due to deposits on lenses and lenses becoming dryer as the day progresses.  Fortunately, there is a contact lens material that is very resistant to both protein deposits (the most common type) and dehydration.   The material is PC hydrogel and CooperVision’s PC hydrogel material is the only one that has FDA clearance to be labeled as ‘may provide improved comfort for contact lens wearers who experience mild discomfort or symptoms relating to dryness during lens wear (non-Sjorgen’s only)’.

Interestingly, this material was not developed by a contact lens company, it was created by a biotech company that was looking to develop a material that was very resistant to protein deposits for devices associated with cardiology (stents, catheters, guide wires, etc.).  Those devices come into contact with blood plasma which contains a significantly higher amount of protein than do tears.  A material was created by incorporating PhosphorylCholine (hence ‘PC’) which is a part of the human cell membrane.  Protein does not stick to our cells in part because of PC.  When incorporated into these medical devices there was a significant reduction in the amount of protein deposits that formed.  The biotech company started looking for other objects that needed protection from protein deposits and realized that contact lenses were an ideal choice.  A new material was developed that incorporated PC and was called PC hydrogel.

Not only did PC hydrogel lenses have excellent resistance to protein deposits, the lenses were found to be very resistant to drying out.  Although this was not why the material was developed, it has become the main advantage.  

PC hydrogel lenses are available for virtually every vision correction.  Even with the increasing popularity of silicone hydrogel lenses, PC hydrogel lenses are still a viable, and often preferred, option.  The material is unique because it attracts and binds water to keep lenses moist all day, translating into long wearing comfort for you. 

PC hydrogel lenses are not approved for overnight wear.  If you do not plan on sleeping with your lenses on and want a lens that does not dry out easily, has minimal deposits and provides long wearing comfort each day, ask your eye care provider for lenses made with PC hydrogel material, such as the line of Proclear lenses from CooperVision. Welcome to the biotech world!

High Tech Contact Lenses?

Posted by Harvard Sylvan, OD on Thursday, March 25, 2010

We have embraced technology in every aspect of our lives – why not take advantage of the technological advances made in contact lens materials? I’d like to talk about two technological advances in contact lens material, each with unique benefits – silicone hydrogel and PC technology.

Silicone hydrogel contact lenses are the most recent development in soft contact lens materials.  Silicone is a material that is highly permeable to oxygen. By placing a contact lens on the eye, the amount of oxygen that reaches the cornea is reduced. As a certain amount of oxygen is necessary to maintain corneal health, by incorporating silicone into the contact lens material, a sufficient amount of oxygen can easily travel through the lens and reach the cornea.

The trade off to silicone in a contact lens is that silicone is hydrophobic. That means water will not spread easily across the lens surface, making it difficult to keep the lens wet.  That makes a lens uncomfortable.  Silicone in a lens also makes it a stiffer material which can reduce comfort as well as irritate the under side of the upper lid.  A lens that contains silicone is prone to get deposits on the surface of the lens thus reducing comfort yet again.  It is no surprise that the number one reason why people stop wearing contacts is due to discomfort. 

As with all technology, improvements are continually being made.  Silicone hydrogel contacts have been available since 1999.  Each successive generation of silicone hydrogel material brings improvement in the comfort of the lens and overcomes earlier limitations.  For example, in prior versions, different coatings or lubricant additives were used to try to improve the lens wettability.  The most recently developed silicone hydrogel lenses, which are made by CooperVision, utilize an entirely new silicone hydrogel material.  This new material is naturally wettable and does not need coatings or additives.  It is also a very soft material and is resistant to certain deposits both of which offer improved comfort.

Biofinity (a monthly replacement lens) and Avaira (a two week replacement lens) are CooperVision’s contact lens brands that are made with the newest silicone hydrogel materials.  They have high oxygen permeability, are very soft, are resistant to getting deposits and are very comfortable.  Ask your eye care provider if you are a candidate for Biofinity or Avaira contact lenses.

No matter your physiological profile, we have a lens for you. Stay tuned for the next post about CooperVision’s revolutionary lens materials!

About On Eye

On Eye is the contact lens blog from CooperVision. On this site, you will find insights about fitting, technology, and the business of contact lenses. The On Eye blog is designed to meet the needs of both Eye Care Practitioners and consumers. ECP and medical professional-specific portions of the blog will be password protected in order to protect and reserve the privacy of the profession. To read more about our terms of use, please see the Legal tab.

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