Dubai – MENA Herald: Technological advancements, coupled with the use of improved materials will boost practitioners’ confidence in fitting correctional contact lenses for patients suffering from astigmatism and ageing of the eye (presbyopia), optical experts have said.
According to Dr Shehzad Naroo, President of the International Association of Contact Lens Educators (IACLE), the regional market for toric lenses has remained largely undersupplied due to opticians’ fears of the lenses’ complex fitting procedure.
He said: “Toric contact lenses are designed to correct astigmatism, and distributers that dedicate a proportion of their work to contact lens fitting are already using them. However, there may be issues with availability within the GCC region, stemming from practitioners’ fears that the lenses are complicated to fit; something we aim to dispel through our workshops.
“The current generation of contact lenses available do not require specialist skill to fit them and do not require special ordering or manufacturing.”
Speaking ahead of his participation in the Vision-X Opticare Conference held at the Dubai World Trade Centre from 25-27 October 2016, Dr Naroo highlighted the medical need for the lenses but pinpointed a gap in the market of which practitioners should be taking advantage.
“The lecture and workshop I will deliver will discuss the need to correct astigmatism in contact lens wearers. Without this issue being addressed, wearers may still suffer from poor vision quality and, as a result, stop using contact lenses altogether.
“There is a definite potential for growth in toric lenses and there is a huge market to be tapped into in the region. Roughly half of all patients suffer from astigmatism yet only a quarter of contact lenses prescribed treat this condition, and my guess is that number is even less in the UAE.”
Conference sponsors Bausch & Lomb ME believe that technological advancements in the materials used for contact lenses will allow patients suffering from presbyopia to pursue alternatives to traditional reading glasses.
Dr. Bahram Behrouzi, Head of Regional Sales for Vision Care at Bausch & Lomb ME said: “Presbyopia is progressively increasing every year on a global scale. Compared to previous generations, patients affected by this disease today face more challenges with their vision.
“Considering that they are constantly using personal small-screen electronics while going on with their active lifestyles, many presbyopes are actively seeking better options than typically unpleasant reading glasses.
“Thanks to technological advancements in material and design in different modalities, we are better equipped than ever to fit multifocal lenses ultimately providing better vision at all distances in addition to comfort, health and convenience for our patients.”
Hosting a series of talks and workshops centred on educating practitioners about fitting multifocal lenses for patients, Bausch & Lomb ME aim to encourage the use of contact lenses to support an ageing population, and provide opticians with a step-by-step guide to facilitate the process of fitting.
Dr. Bahram Behrouzi added: “My presentation will examine the characteristic habits and obstacles faced by modern presbyopes, offering an effective solution for eye-care practitioners to ensure these patients enjoy freedom from readers, and our multifocal workshop will provide hands on training for participating eye care practitioners willing to expand their expertise.
“Unfortunately, the prevalence of wearing contact lenses decreases with age, a time when they are mostly needed. Multifocal lenses provide a convenient and healthy option for active presbyopes whenever they need an alternative to glasses, especially on occasional wear and taking part in sports.
“The percentage of patients using daily disposable contact lenses is quite high in the GCC and the addition of multifocal lenses will give people over the age of forty another option to enjoy seeing clearly at all distances.”
In cooperation with the IACLE and the European Academy of Optometry and Optics (ECCO), this year’s Vision-X Opticare Conference will offer delegates a valuable opportunity to earn CPD points for their practices as well as provide insightful workshops highlighting the latest techniques for fitting lenses and diagnosing patients.
Visitors can also expect to see the very latest in cutting-edge design, technology and innovation at Vision-X. Returning to the show this year are a host of recognised industry names including Vision RX Labs, Alcon, GKB Hi Tech, and Anesthesia USA, as well as leading fashion brands such as Future Optic, Ata Optic and Dzmitry Samal.
Celebrating excellence in the eyewear and optical care industry, the Vision-X Vision Plus Awards returns for the third year to provide a platform for leading brands to celebrate the best in business. The ceremony takes place on 25 October at the Dubai World Trade Centre.