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New contact lens material set to extend wearer numbers

September 2014

Successful contact lens fits look set to increase significantly as a result of a new material brought to market by Bausch + Lomb.

Hypergel™, developed to combat the drop-out rate of contact lens wearers, addresses many of the issues relating to comfort believes Wendy Sethi, FBDO CL, Bausch + Lomb Professional Services Consultant.

“This new material has the potential to impact dramatically on drop-out rates.  We know we are winning the market growth challenge when we combine comfort with good vision. Silicone hydrogel was introduced in 1999 and has solved some of the barriers to contact lens wear but not all of them.  It certainly has high oxygen transmissibility but for some there is still an issue with comfort. The attraction of lipid deposits can sometimes be an issue too,” said Wendy.

The need for a material which addresses the barriers to wear for some patients has been met by Hypergel, now used in the Biotrue™ ONEday contact lens family, say Bausch + Lomb.  Moving away from silicone, the new material has many advantages –

“The lens has oxygen transmissibility of 93%, higher than any other non-silicon hydrogel lenses, and is hugely comfortable to wear.  Water stays within the lens due to the inherent characteristics of the material,” added Wendy.

Designed to provide maximum comfort and consistent optics, Hypergel mimics the natural properties of the eye. Matching the 78% water content of the cornea and mimicking the lipid layer of the tear film, it is the next step in preventing water evaporation and maintaining consistent optics.

In trials, Bausch + Lomb found that just 1.5% of the 78% water content is lost in 16 hours of wear, compared with  other lenses on the market which lose more than three times more of their water content in the same period.

“This is going to have an impact on comfort and the visual acuity as the lens changes shape. Studies have shown this new lens provides comfort and good vision for far longer than many others.

“I have suggested to some practitioners to leave the Biotrue ONEday lens out on the desk for a day alongside a competing lens and to see which changes most – this is a very tangible way to demonstrate the qualities of the Hypergel material,” said Wendy.

Biotrue ONEday is available in single vision and presbyopic designs, both incorporating the advanced optics used in the Bausch + Lomb Purevision 2 range of contact lenses.

“Comparing well with the cost of other daily disposable lenses, especially the multifocal options, practitioners are finding this a very attractive option. The integral UV protection is another benefit of the lens which helps with dispensing.  One of the big things we need in practice is choice and approaching failed contact lens wearers with a completely new material – which addresses the issue of silicone intolerances – has to be a significant step,” added Wendy.

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