Myopic children and presbyopes alike will benefit from a new daily disposable contact lens now available in Australia. NaturalVue (etafilcon A) Multifocal 1 Day contact lenses, by Visioneering Technologies (VTI), was developed using the principles of a pinhole camera by Dr Richard Giffin, an optometrist, optical and aerospace engineer.
The new contact lens, which uses the principles of a pinhole camera, has an extended depth of focus so that near and distant objects can be viewed without blurriness.
Data from over 100 children with myopia who have been fitted with the lenses across multiple locations in the United States showed that:
- 90% demonstrated a significant decrease in the amount of myopic refractive error change, and
- On average, 70% showed a complete halting of progression of their myopia changes.
While undertaking a roadshow across Australia and New Zealand, Dr Peg Achenbach, vice president, professional services and clinical science with VTI, spoke to mivision about her experience fitting children with myopia.
“This is a lens that is very accessible – it’s technology that’s been around a long time and a modality practitioners know how to use. Parents too, are very comfortable with soft contact lenses,” she said.
Dr Achenbach explained that NaturalVue’s extended depth of focus lens design achieves a longer range of clear vision by creating a smaller optical or virtual aperture. It takes advantage of the principles of a pinhole camera and the Troxler effect. The pinhole effect enhances vision by focusing the paraxial rays on the fovea. The Troxler effect is an optical illusion affecting visual perception – when you fixate on a central point, the images in the periphery start to fade away.
“The clinical trials of NaturalVue to slow progression of myopia have been very surprising in a good way – more than 90% of myopic children realised close to one dioptre reduction in their refraction error over a year.
“And the great thing is that all they were doing was wearing the lens during the day. There is no need for a combination of treatments or for the lens to be worn at night. They insert the lens in the eye in the morning, get the benefits of clear vision all day and the benefit of myopia control, then throw it away at night.
“It’s always very gratifying to be able to make a significant difference and to make this kind of impact on a child’s future and their future health. I’ve always made my career decisions based on what’s good for the patient, for public health, and for the profession. The NaturalVue is quickly becoming the standard of care for children. The benefits are clear.”
CONVENIENCE FOR PRESBYOPES
With one universal design that provides excellent vision at all lengths, Dr Emma Gillies, director of professional services for VTI in Australia, said the NaturalVue daily contact lens is also ideal for presbyopes who have become frustrated by their vision.
“They have reached the point where they want to regain the convenience of enjoying good vision all the time, in all levels of light, including improved stereopsis and binocular vision,” she said.
Tony Sommer, VTI’s senior vice president and a presbyope himself, spoke of his own experience wearing the lens and the regained freedom to read fine print, even at night time. “My favourite party trick now is to read aloud a menu in a restaurant in dim light,” he laughed.
FOLLOW THE FITTING GUIDE
Dr Achenbach stressed the need to use the ‘Brainpower NaturalVue calculator’ when identifying the appropriate lens for a patient, and to follow the fitting guide carefully.
“Optometrists who have been fitting CLs may feel they can work it out themselves, however this lens needs to be fitted in a particular way. While it is simple to fit, there are essential rules to follow – it is different but not difficult. Lens changes need to be made on the eye in quarter dioptres, beginning with distance vision in the dominant eye. The care and the follow up is all the same as it is with other contact lenses.”