O 2 OPTIX TM - Early impressions
It has been now been a couple of months since the official release of O 2 Optix and about five months since I started using this innovative product after being asked by Ciba to trial it.
The O2Optix literature (Ref: 1)states that this lens is made of a modified silicon hydrogel called lotrafilcon B (Dk/t=138), which contains 33 percent water, with a permanent surface treatment to assure surface wettability for comfort and a surface that is resistant to protein deposits. To date I would concur with these claims.
What I look for in contact lenses is very simple. They must deliver good health, comfort and vision. O 2 Optix delivers in all these areas, even though it has been released as a monthly replacement in Australia as opposed to a two weekly replacement in the US .
Logic would suggest that two weekly replacement would be a better option than monthly replacement, but my preference has always been monthly replacement where possible, as I believe compliance is more likely. One criticism I have though is that they have been released in a three pack rather than a six pack. I believe patients are more likely to drag out the life of the lenses if they are purchased in smaller quantities.
Other than the high Dk/t, which guarantees adequate oxygen and the permanent surface treatment that seems to keep the lens cleaner through the course of the day, the modulus of the material is also less than other silicon hydrogels. This I believe has also added to the overall comfort of the lens. It is early days yet, but I am looking forward to less inflammatory events, such as SEALS, GPC and peripheral infiltrates. Time will tell.
What has impressed me most to date about O 2 Optix is the patient response. In particular borderline wearers often have significantly increased wearing times. This group of patients are at greatest risk of discontinuing contact lenses and in many cases choose refractive surgery as a vision correcting option. Contact lens dropouts could be more than 50% (Ref: 2) mainly due to discomfort. I am hoping that this product will contribute to reducing this statistic.
The challenge I had early in the trial was; where did O 2 Optix fit in my product mix? To begin with it was obvious that virtually all normal hydrogel wearers could be successfully upgraded. What was interesting was that price was not an important issue. I was selling them at normal silicon hydrogel prices. The issue was better comfort and less red eyes at the end of the day. To date O 2 Optix has FDA approval for six nights wear, so I only prescribe the product for occasional overnight wear. I reserve PureVision TM and Night & Day TM for 30 night extended wear.
In conclusion I have welcomed O 2 Optix in my practice with open arms. I believe it will contribute to keeping patients in contact lenses. Anything we can offer that can decrease the alarming contact lens dropout rate needs to be used. O 2 Optix TM is not a panacea to all contact lens problems but definitely adds value to my practice.
2. Epstein AB, Freedman JM: The Four Cs for Preventing Contact Lens Dropout. Review of Optometry Vol 140.03: 2003