The pretty high Dk silicone hydrogels

on February 22nd, 2005 | Filed under Optoblog

When the Acuvue Advance (Dk 89) and Ciba O2Optix (Dk 138) lenses came out, my first reaction was “Why?” The Advance and O2Optix are high Dk but not as high as Ciba Night & Day. They can be worn for occasional overnight wear and/or up to 6 nights extended wear, but Night & Day can be worn 30 days. I myself wear Ciba N&D and love them, so why would I want a “lesser” lens?
Now I have seen the light. The O2Optix and Advance lenses are 2-week disposables for patients in the real world. You know, the patients who are wearing their lenses 16-18 hours a day and occasionally sleeping in their lenses. I think most patients are like this, or at the very least, would be like this only they can’t stand the feeling they get when they over wear there regular hydrogel lenses, so they have no choice but to take them out.
This is where the newer not-as-high Dk lenses come into play. They allow the patient to “flex wear” their lenses for 2 weeks then throw them away and start again. Since they aren’t wearing them continuously, they don’t need as high of Dk as N&D, yet, they have enough oxygen passing through to allow what would normally be considered “over wear” with other regular hydrogel lenses. Nice.
I think the Acuvue2, Frequency 55 and the other regular hydrogels should be history. Most patients should just be directed over to this new 2-week replacement modality because that’s how most patients live their life. I can’t tell you how many patients I see that could have avoided corneal neovascularization if they could have had this type of lens. They’re not bad patients. They were just trying to live life without worrying about their contacts. They were trying to wear their contacts like their friends and family with contacts do, but their eyes won’t allow it without repercussions. Now, there’s a contact lens modality that fits their lifestyle and won’t bring neo and the wrath of their optometrist.
Please note, I wish I had a financial interest in the above companies, but I don’t and cannot since I work for the government. Also, my practice doesn’t include a contact lens service, so I have never actually fit any of the above lenses. I read the available information and specs on the products and submitted my opinion to this blog. For what other ECPs are saying, visit the Optometric Management forums which includes a thread on O2optix.

2 Comments

2 Responses to “The pretty high Dk silicone hydrogels”

  1. David Langford says:

    Do you all say “sleep in your contact lenses” or “sleep with your contact lenses.” Niether one sounds quite right because the former is wrong because CLs cannot function as sleeping bags and the latter. . .well, it just sounds bad.

  2. Read the column in the March 2005 Contact Lens Spectrum by N. Rex Ghormley, OD, FAAO. He also advocates fitting most everyone in contact lenses with Dk/t of at least 125. Here is the link: http://www.clspectrum.com/article.aspx?article=12759