Contact Lens Prices

A patient came in yesterday and gave my staff a long talk on how his soft contacts were so much cheaper at Costco. He was quite loud and was so emphatic I thought I better check into this because we work hard to make sure that our prices are very competitive at Waverley Eye Care. So I called Costco and asked what their price is:

Oasys for Astigmatism:

  • Costco: 6 month supply: $178.00 – $20 mail in rebate = $158.00
    1 year supply: $356.00 – $50 mail in rebate = $306.00
  • Waverley Eye Care: 6 month supply: $180.00 -$20 mail in rebate = $160.00
    1 year supply: $340.00 – $50 mail in rebate = $290.00

Obviously our prices are extremely competitive, and this is not even taking into consideration things like us providing free replacement of ripped or torn lenses and including contact lens checks with an eye doctor at no charge. What is also obvious is that we need to educate our patients’ better on what a good value we can offer them, we will try harder.

Michael D. Nelson, Optometrist

Complete Solution Recall

AMO has issued a voluntary recall of Complete® MoisturePlusTM contact lens solutions because of an association with Acanthamoeba infections when using Complete. Acanthamoeba is a rare but serious eye infection. The Centre for Disease Control has reported 46 cases since 2005, of these 21 of these individuals report using Complete. Click for the press release.

The company has instructed consumers to discontinue use and call 1-866-492-6019 for more information on the recall.

Acanthamoeba infections have long been a risk factor for contact lens wearers. Individuals are at particular risk if they swim in fresh water with contacts on, store their contacts in unsterilized containers or use tap water to clean lenses. We are recommending our patients to reduce the risk of Acanthamoeba infections by using ClearCare Hydrogel Peroxide solution(READ INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY), change to a daily disposable lens or eliminate other factors that would put them at risk for Acanthamoeba infections. Please feel free to email me if you have any other questions.

Michael Nelson OD

Infiltrates

One of the most common complications with contacts is the lack of oxygen(hypoxia).  The cornea is a unique tissue because it is the only tissue in the body that absorbs it’s oxygen supply directly from the air and not from blood vessels.  If you reduce the oxygen supply to the cornea by wearing contacts too long the cornea will have trouble repairing itself.  This will result in some swelling of the cornea and some difficulty with the cornea repairing itself: these changes show up as microscopic  white patches known as infiltrates.  When this occurs patients will often experience redness, sensitivity to light and intolerance to contact lenses.

Hypoxia can occur slowly over time before someone develops problems.  Usually it develops from wearing contacts most of the time for years and years, then suddenly someone develops problems.  The best way to avoid the development of hypoxia and infiltrates is to not over-wear contacts and to change to some form of silicone-hydrogel lens material.

The treatment for hypoxia and infiltrates is to discontinue contact lens wear until all signs of infiltrates resolve, which can usually mean months without contact lens wear.  When the infiltrates resolve sometimes the individual can wear contacts again, but they need to be a high oxygen lens and the person must reduce their wearing time.

Websites for more information on Infiltrates:

Infiltrate Article

Review of Optometry Article

Michael Nelson, OD

Silicone Hydrogel Materials

Up until 2000 there were relatively few major advances in contact lenses.  Mostly changes were a result of lenses that would not dry out as much or changes to the shape of the lens to make them more comfortable.

In 2000 contact lens companies started introducing silicone-hydrogel lenses which were able to provide much more oxygen permeability to contacts.  We have know for the last 30-40 years that silicone is extremely permeable to oxygen, the problem is that lenses made out of silicone dry out very quickly and were very uncomfortable.  Silicone-hydrogel lenses were able to combine the oxygen permeability of silicone with the comfort of traditionally hydrogel lenses.

Before the silicone-hydrogel lenses the 2 brands with the most permeability were Acuvue2 (25units of permeability) and Proclear(34 units of permeability).  Currently there are 5 brands of silicone-hydrogel lenses on the market(In brackets are their oxygen permeability):

  • O2 Optix (138)
  • Focus Night & Day (175)
  • Acuvue Advance (85)
  • Acuvue Oasys (147)
  • Purevision (101)

As can be seen, Silicone-hydrogel lenses can provide ~5X as much oxygen as even the best hydrogel lens.  That’s a big improvement, which can significantly reduce the risk of corneal infiltrates.  It just doesn’t make sense to not wear a silicone-hydrogel lens.

Michael Nelson, OD