Alcon has launched its new Total1 for Astigmatism and Precision1 for Astigmatism contact lenses at a series of events around Australia and New Zealand, with both lenses now available to order.
Themed, ‘Worth the Wait’, indeed it was, with almost 200 optometrists gathered at the Ivy precinct for Alcon’s Sydney event, eager to hear all about the new contact lenses that cover 94% of all astigmats and boast 99% first fit success.
Hosted by Rich Oliver, Alcon’s Country Franchise Head of Vision Care ANZ, the evening kicked off with a highly informative clinical presentation by Helen Gleave, Professional Affairs Manager. Ms Gleave was followed by an entertaining presentation delivered by optometrist Mark Koszek who has trialled the contact lens technologies at EyeQ Optometrists in Ramsgate, Sydney.
Both Mr Oliver and Ms Gleave were excited to remind the audience that having waited eight years, Alcon is the first to market with the world launch of not one, but two soft contact lenses for astigmatism, providing options to meet each patient’s lifestyle and ocular needs.
Astigmatism can adversely affect distance and near vision acuity, reading speed and fluency
Emphasising the “huge opportunity to better meet the needs of astigmatic patients”, Ms Gleave said around 47% of patients have a 0.75 cylinder or more in at least one eye, yet currently only 22% of soft lens fits are toric.
Astigmatism can adversely affect distance and near vision acuity, reading speed and fluency. It can also cause issues with stereoacuity, ocular discomfort, headaches, and eye dryness. The British Contact Lens Association’s Contact Lens Evidence-based Academic Report (BCLA CLEAR) found that toric contact lenses should be fitted, even for low levels of astigmatism, as opposed to the spherical equivalent.
Acknowledging that adopting a new and unknown contact lens technology can necessitate extra chair time, Ms Gleave reassured optometrists in the room that there was no need for concern. She highlighted one study that found it took just one extra minute of chair time to fit a toric contact lens versus a spherical contact lens.
Ms Gleave noted the impressive stability of the lens on the eye, achieved using Alcon’s Precision balance 8|4 lens design. She explained that while small amounts of lens movement facilitate tear exchange, stability is key to the success of a toric contact lens. Rotation will affect vision because of the nature of a toric lens design and this is in direct contrast to spherical contact lenses, which have a consistent prescription across the entire lens, meaning the lens can rotate without affecting vision. Later in the evening, Mr Koszek reported both Total1 for Astigmatism and Precision1 for Astigmatism provided excellent stability and demonstrated this with a video of a patient he recently fitted.
As opposed to taking more chair time, Mr Koszek said the lenses are so easy to successfully fit that he sees his patients less. “Be confident to prescribe these lenses – there isn’t a great need to get the patient to come in for follow-up a week later. I call them to check in and, assuming they are happy, order the lenses and ask them to come back in six months for review,” he said.
COMPREHENSIVE PRACTICE SUPPORT
A comprehensive support program includes advertising across television, on demand channels, online videos and in high traffic areas. Additionally, social media and public relations campaigns are being used to communicate testimonials from optometrists and patients.
For practices, Alcon has developed a levitating rotational display, a suite of collateral and patient kits that can hold their trial lenses, application and removal videos, a refer-a-friend voucher, and an offer to help offset the cost if the patient is upgrading from another lens.
To further support optometrists who dispense Precision1 for Astigmatism and Total1 for Astigmatism, Alcon has developed an innovative trial set and MyAlcon Fit Scan app – a digital solution to automatically replenish trial lenses that Alcon says could save optometrists and support staff hours of administrative time, and ensure trial lenses are always at hand.
The fit set is made from 100% recyclable materials and is entirely modular so that it can be configured vertically or horizontally according to practice set-up.
Using advanced recognition technology, the MyAlcon Fit Scan app compares an original photo of the complete fit set with a real time scan, in the process recognising the missing trial lens slots. It automatically generates an order for replenishment, allowing the user to make adjustments to the order before confirming submission.
For more information turn to the CPD accredited article on page 77.