Optometrists are being urged to lay claim to the market on coloured contact lenses – traditionally thought of a cosmetic gimmick primarily appealing to teens – with the introduction of the first Silicone-hydrogel coloured contact lens in Australia and New Zealand.
The Air Optix Colors range was launched by Alcon to a group of about 40 optometrists – many of whom flew in from interstate and New Zealand – at a special event in Sydney last month. The product will be available later this month for patients requiring either no vision correction, or correction for shortsightedness. The range will be added to in May, with a version for long-sightedness.
Optometrists attending the event were told the Air Optix Colors range is the only silicon hydrogel coloured contact lens available in Australia and New Zealand.
Speaking at the event, Professional Training Manager Helen Gleave ran through the technical aspects of the new range. She said the product used a new printing technique, which provided an improved range of both subtle and vibrant colours. The subtle range is designed to enhance eye colour, while looking completely natural, while the vibrant range – as the name suggests – provides a more dramatic impact.
Taking Back the Market
Colour lenses, which have previously only been available as Hydrogel contact lenses, have traditionally not been embraced byoptometrists. Many have seen them as a cosmetic gimmick, mainly used by teenagers, and often purchased online.
However, with the introduction of a breathable Silicone-hydrogel hydrogel option, Alcon is encouraging eye care practices toreposition colour lenses not as a novelty product, but rather as a healthy contact lens option, purchased after consultation with an optometrist.
…alongside the medical advantages of wearing contact lenses for vision correction, market research had revealed the existence of “emotional motivators” of improving confidence and enhancing beauty
Ms. Parkinson shared market research with the audience that patients were looking for a contact lenses that provided them with clear vision, were comfortable and that promoted long-term health of the eyes. However, alongside the medical advantages of wearing contact lenses for vision correction, market research had revealed the existence of “emotional motivators” of improving confidence and enhancing beauty. The new range should be viewed as a “medical product… meeting emotional and medical needs”, she said.
Along with the opportunity to try to fit the coloured contact lenses for themselves, delegates at the Alcon event were given a lecture from a colour specialist, to help them guide patients through the right colour choice.
Alcon also used the event to launch two new eye drops for contact lens patients -0 Opti-Free Prof Lubrication and Opti-Free Promoisturising; and AOSept Plus with Hydraglyde – a preservative-free hydrogen peroxide cleaning solution.