by Dr. Louise Sclafani, OD, FAAO
I truly believe that the contact lens world was foretelling the COVID pandemic when the new ISO standards regarding in-office disinfection of diagnostic contact lenses were released in 2018. The present state that we entered in March 2020 has heightened our awareness of the ease of disease transmission in our practices. Therefore, new disinfecting systems, as well as other ways to safely and successfully prescribe specialty contact lenses, such as empirical fitting, are more important than ever.New Disinfecting Protocol
The new disinfecting protocol was presented at the American Academy of Optometry 2019, Global Specialty Lens Symposium 2020, and the International Webinar during the peak of COVID. As an educator and practitioner, I was fortunate to partake in these activities as well as co-author a paper with the AOA and AAO that will soon be released in the Journal of the American Academy of Optometry. These podium opportunities educated the world, brought up concerns, and led us to reconsider how we prescribe for our patients. At SynergEyes, as partners in this journey, we realized that this was a call for action. We created an educational tool outlining the appropriate steps needed to disinfect hybrid and scleral lenses, here >>. However, we realized that it was important to take further steps to ensure the future viability of specialty lenses prescribing.
The Benefits of the SynergEyes Empirical Fitting System
SynergEyes’ new empirical lens designing systems allow practitioners to utilize their diagnostic instruments and measurements, so that SynergEyes can create lenses uniquely designed for each patient, without the need to put trial lenses on eye. These systems can create empirically designed lenses for all refractive needs including astigmatism, presbyopia and irregular cornea conditions. You can read more about how to empirically fit SynergEyes lenses here >>.
Contact Lens fitting of the irregular cornea (IC) can be challenging due to the corneal anatomy and integrity, but also due to resources available to the clinician in terms of chair time, trial fitting sets and technology. The new SynergEyes empirical system allows hybrid lenses to be designed utilizing software to create a 3-D model of the eye and the fluorescein pattern that will result in various lens designs and sagittal vaults. The SynergEyes Technical Consultant is provided with either the exported topographical raw data or simply a PDF of the topography. The information is then entered into the Focal Points Professional program. This technology was engineered by Renato Lifredo, Milan, Italy, decades ago. If the raw data is not available due to networking issues or the topography unit has not been programmed for this protocol, a doctor can send in the pdf of the topography that lists the eccentricity (e value)/ shape factor/ Q value and K reading so that the sagittal depth can be calculated. Utilizing a proprietary calculator, the information is entered to design the appropriate lens. Various lens designs, base curves or sagittal depths can be virtually “placed on the eye” to get desired clearance. This technology has been available in the past for corneal GPs; however, the soft skirt of a hybrid lens allows for more predictable and precise centration on the cornea, therefore the theoretical models are more likely to simulate the lens in situ.
So specialty lens fitting has entered a new generation. We at SynergEyes are prepared to continue to provide lenses that fit all shapes, sizes and ages. However, we realize that chair time is limited and so our goal is to have first lens on eye to be a lens that can be dispensed. Our experience with hybrid lens designs show that they can be fit empirically with much success and efficiency.
SynergEyes® is an advanced-technology contact lens company, providing a complete continuum of innovative products for contact lens specialists and their patients. Brands include Duette® hybrid lenses for astigmatism and presbyopia, UltraHealth® hybrid and SynergEyes VS™ scleral lenses for irregular corneas and SimplifEyes 1Day daily disposable soft contact lenses. The SynergEyes portfolio also includes ClearKone®, and SynergEyes® A, MF, KC, and PS hybrid lenses.