Creating solutions to meet demands on the eyes
With practices reporting seeing an increase in dry, tired eyes, Johnson & Johnson Vision explains how its ACUVUE® OASYS MAX 1-Day has been designed to meet the demands of modern lifestyles
11 February 2023
What inspired the development of the ACUVUE® OASYS MAX 1-Day contact lens? Why now?
Jakob Sveen, managing director Northern Europe and general manager UK and Ireland (JS): Over the last 20 years, we have been relentlessly focused on serving patients and their needs, driving innovation and partnership with our customers. We recognise the last year has been particularly hard as we continue to navigate global challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact on supply chains. We remain committed to both tackling these challenges while also continuing to drive innovation and category growth.
We are really proud to bring ACUVUE® OASYS MAX 1-Day contact lenses to the table as a solution to feedback from eye care professionals (ECPs) that there has been a significant rise in dry, tired eyes at the end of the day, driven largely by changes in lifestyle. The shift to more hybrid working has increased our digital consumption; in fact, 81% of people in the UK who wear vision correction say they use at least five different digital screens per day.1
How have changing patient lifestyles altered what they need from their contact lenses?
JS: The biggest issues we have heard from ECPs is symptoms of dry eye as a result of longer days and increased use of digital devices. Increased screen time is creating widespread issues with symptoms of dry eye, with more than two-thirds (67%) indicating the role of screens in modern life is detrimental to their eye comfort.1
With COVID-19 lockdowns well behind us, we’ve also seen people really embracing their leisure time and after work activities. Patients want to feel like they can work all day and then go to the cinema or catch up with friends and still feel comfortable.
These demands are even more troubling for ageing eyes. While digital screen use destabilises the tear film at all ages, the tear film breaks down 50% faster by age 50 and may exacerbate the feelings of dry eye and impact consistency of vision.2 Meanwhile, light scatter doubles by age 60, resulting in increased visual artefacts (starbursts, halos), affecting distance vision, and contributing to decreased ability to drive at night or read in dim light.3
The biggest issues we have heard from ECPs is symptoms of dry eye as a result of longer days and increased use of digital devices
How does the technology and material in these lenses address these new patient needs?
Kamlesh Chauhan, director of professional affairs, UK, Ireland, Nordics and DACH (KC): There are two unique new technologies we developed that make ACUVUE® OASYS MAX 1-Day contact lenses work harder for patients.
First, our TearStable™ technology optimises our existing wetting agent (PVP) for better distribution throughout the lens and surface.4 In other words, we’ve essentially made the contact lens more biocompatible with the eye tear film, both introducing more long-chain PVP, while also distributing it more evenly across the lens from edge-to-edge for improved comfort. Second, we have introduced the OptiBlue™ light filter, a technology that provides the highest-level blue-violet light filter at 60%,5,* to help reduce light scatter for increased visual clarity, day to night.6,7
When looking at a digital screen, we blink 60% less, which can destabilise the tear film, affecting comfort and vision.8,9 Blue-violet light scatters from digital screens, florescent lights and the sun, which can impact visual clarity.10 So the two technologies work hand-in-hand to tackle these challenges, improving visual clarity and end-of-day comfort.
How is this different from other ACUVUE® contact lenses?
JS: What makes these contact lenses most different from other ACUVUE® contact lenses is the unprecedented combination of the two new technologies – TearStable™ technology and OptiBlue™ light filter.11 Finding a way to incorporate both technologies without compromising the structure of the lenses meant developing an entirely new manufacturing process. It is game changing.
These are our most comfortable lenses yet, with 90% of heavy users of digital devices reporting a reduction in the feeling of tired eyes when wearing ACUVUE® OASYS MAX 1-Day versus our ACUVUE® OASYS 1-Day contact lenses.12
How does your approach to Eye-Inspired™ innovations help you better meet patient needs?
KC: The idea behind Eye-Inspired innovations is that our contact lenses are designed based on the eye’s natural physiology and anatomy, to make the most seamless wear experience possible.13 Improved biocompatibility has helped us meet patient needs, and it is even more important today with patients spending more time looking at screens. By blinking less, our tear film disrupts faster. Using this as inspiration, we are continuing to innovate with the tear film front of mind.
For ACUVUE® OASYS MAX 1-Day we have incorporated both a tear like wetting agent and hydrated silicones into our state-of-the-art manufacturing process in a way that enhances tear-film stability and moisture retention between blinks. The goal is to have a lens that wearers barely think about.
Improved biocompatibility has helped us meet patient needs, and it is even more important today with patients spending more time looking at screens
How might this contact lens support retention, and thus, support practices in their contact lens business?
JS: This is a great transitionary lens for presbyopes, as we can seamlessly transition wearers from sphere to multifocal with ACUVUE® OASYS MAX 1-Day Multifocal contact lenses. The multifocal contact lenses have the same benefit of sphere, so the hope is to see less drop-out and continuation of wear over time.
There is, of course, also the fact that the technology is new and will contribute towards providing exceptional end of day comfort and visual clarity in all lighting conditions. This will get many on board and retain patients who enjoy using them.
How do you recommend practitioners talk about the ACUVUE® OASYS MAX 1-Day with patients, in both its spherical and multifocal presentations?
KC: The key is to focus on patient needs by asking about their lifestyle and how that may impact the daily demands on their eyes. Ask how comfortable patients’ eyes are. Do they start to feel discomfort or eye dryness at the end of the day? Do patients prefer the way their eyes feel without lenses? For older patients who would prefer to stick to multifocal glasses, practitioners can discuss the benefits and freedom that lenses will provide. Glasses can put a strain on patients’ necks when they constantly need to tilt their head to keep them positioned correctly.
Some patients may be worried about price, but it may be the case that switching is a matter of 25p extra cost per day, less than a coffee per week. Putting the price into perspective, when vision and comfort is so critical and contributes towards their wellbeing, will be a clincher for some patients. There are options for everyone, and it’s worth discussing what is best for their needs.
What will patients’ changing lifestyles mean for contact lens wear and design going forwards?
KC: We’re always keeping abreast of trends and changes that could affect patients. Our lifestyles will likely continue to become more and more virtual, and screen time will only increase with the digital revolution. We’ll need to analyse things like the impact of virtual reality on eyes, and we advise optometrists as much as we can about what our research is telling us in terms of patient screen time and other activities.
We also expect major developments, such as contact lenses being used in disease management or as diagnostic tools for conditions like diabetes. It is an exciting time for innovation and we will continue to push anywhere there is an opportunity to better support patients and their eye health.
Overall, how have you seen the market and patient-wearing behaviour recover in the past year, and what is your forecast for the coming months?
JS: There has been a remarkable effort from the industry to clear the backlog of eye tests from the pandemic, and we are encouraged to see the category recover. We are seeing that people are generally eager to go out, socialise and do a variety of activities, so we should be working with ECPs to offer contact lenses that support that.
Giving patients the opportunity to upgrade
Faye McDearmid, optometrist at Campbell & McDearmid Optometrists and professional affairs consultant for Johnson & Johnson Vision, on informing all patients about new technology
Contact lenses are massive for us. Between 25–40% of our patient base is contact lens wearers. When I see a patient, I am looking for a visual solution that fits with their lifestyle and work, helping them to be who they want to be. We discuss contact lenses with everybody as another way of seeing – in the way that I think other practices might suggest an alternative pair of glasses.
What we are looking for is a contact lens that enables the eye to continue to function as normal while sustaining the lens in place, despite all the challenges we put it under. People demand that: they want their contact lenses to be comfortable.
Discussing lifestyle and contact lenses: “You wouldn’t play golf in high heels”I will always ask people what they do and what a typical day or week looks like. I explain that I need to know this in order to be able to offer them the best vision care solutions – because they wouldn’t play golf in high heels or go to their best friend’s wedding in wellington boots. We can give them the best solution for what they are doing.
Faye’s top tip for fitting ACUVUE® OASYS MAX 1-DayEven the patients who you think are happy: find out what they can improve on from their current contact lenses, and give them the opportunity to try it.
I got my fitting kit for the ACUVUE® OASYS MAX 1-Day at the end of October 2022. I fitted one patient who, when I last saw him, was fitted with ACUVUE® OASYS 1-Day. He has a really demanding job but spoke about how much he was loving the contact lens. I told him that there is a new contact lens and his response was: ‘Great, can I try it? If I like it even better, can I have it?’
This was an eye-opener for me. He came in to tell me how great the lenses were that I had given him previously, but he still wanted to try the new technology. If someone is happy in their contact lenses, it can be tempting in busy clinics to think: let’s keep them in that and catch up some time. Actually, we owe it to patients to tell them about these upgrades and let them experience the innovation.
When I see a patient, I am looking for a visual solution that fits with their lifestyle and work, helping them to be who they want to be
The majority of our contact lens wearers are presbyopes. That is where we have seen the biggest growth continually for the last six or seven years. We are all doing more – wanting to be involved with family, or socially, or in leisure activities – and expectations for vision and comfort are still there. We know that as the eye has more birthdays, there is a correlation between that and a poor tear film. The people who I have upgraded to the new contact lens so far are all working-age presbyopes who are using screens or in offices, and they have really enjoyed the benefits.
The ACUVUE® OASYS MAX 1-Day has been really well received. The cost is higher, but my experience so far has been that it wasn’t as much as people thought it was going to be. With the cost of living on the news, practitioners can feel a bit hesitant to show patients new contact lenses, but we can’t pass an opinion on what the person needs. If we can give them more comfortable vision and a sharper vision quality, then we owe it to them to let them decide.
I always tell people: the first thing you do in the morning is open your eyes, and then your eyes are switched on all day. This contact lens has the newest, and most innovative technology, so I will be discussing the benefits with all my contact lens wearers. There is not a toric at the moment, but I still tell these patients and explain that I’ll be getting it for them when the contact lens is available.
A case study of one
Meeting the visual and comfort needs of contact lens wearers
Tuija Kankaanpaa, optometrist at TD Tom Davies, on digital device use and high patient expectations
I have never given out so many prisms as I have this year. People’s eyes are tired. Lots of my patients work with several monitors at different distances, which makes it tricky for their glasses, and a lot of our patients like multifocal contact lenses because it gives them that depth of vision.
As our patients spend so much time in front of a screen, they expect really comfortable lenses. Dryness is, of course, a key issue now. The key challenges patients face are a 50-50 split between comfort and vision. If your vision isn’t clear it bothers you all the time. Comfort is extremely important as well. Visual quality and comfort go hand-in-hand.
We have a very in-depth discussion with patients about what kind of work they do, what the reason is for the eye examination, and what their hopes are for the appointment. We ask how many hours they spend with the computer, if they use multiple screens, and we also ask if they drive. This gives me a really good idea of what they need. For every single patient, I will ask if they wear contact lenses, and if not, then I will ask if they are interested
Visual quality and comfort go hand-in-hand
If we mention blue light filters, almost everybody we see who works with screens wants to have the filter. We are used to talking about and selling lenses with blue light filters with our glasses, so it is easy for me to say that we have a new contact lens with a blue lens filter. People are so aware of blue light nowadays that they ask about it. Having a contact lens with UV protection and a blue light filter is an excellent combination.*,†
As soon as I explain the benefits of the new contact lens, patients want to try it. They don’t ask me about the price, and if it is a little bit more expensive, it hasn’t been an issue. The blue light filter really does the magic – I think Johnson & Johnson Vision has nailed it.
Two of my multifocal patients used to have the 1-Day ACUVUE® Moist Multifocal. When one of them came to pick up their new ACUVUE® OASYS MAX 1-Day lenses, she told me: “I wish I had already been using them,” as she feels that she now sees much better.
I always test the lenses myself, because I have dry eyes and challenges with my vision. I was a bit sceptical, but I love them. They are really comfortable and I wear them every day.
Discovering visual needs: “We always have a very friendly discussion about lifestyle”Finding out what their visual needs are comes very easily at the beginning of the eye examination. We always have a very friendly discussion about lifestyle. We ask about hobbies and any particular needs they have. Time on digital devices is on the first page of the questionnaire on our computer system, so I always record this. Quite often I ask: ‘How many hours do you use a computer for?’ If they don’t use a computer that much, I will ask: ‘How about your phone?’ We have a lot of patients who say between 14 and 16 hours per day.
Who do you feel would benefit the most from this lens?When I ask people how much they use a computer, or their smartphone, or even just do close work, for every person who spends longer than average on these activities: I recommend this lens.
References and further reading
* Filtering of HEV light by contact lenses has not been demonstrated to confer any systemic and/or ocular health benefit to the user. The eye care professional should be consulted for more information.
† All ACUVUE® contact lenses have Class 1 or Class 2 UV-blocking to help provide protection against transmission of harmful UV radiation to the cornea and into the eye. UV-absorbing contact lenses are NOT substitutes for protective UV absorbing eyewear such as UV-absorbing goggles or sunglasses because they do not completely cover the eye and surrounding area.
- Digital Comfort Survey, March 2022, TRUE Global Intelligence and Vitreous World, commissioned by Johnson & Johnson Vision
- Mostafa Y, SaifM, Saeed M, and ElSaadanyS. The Effect of Age and Gender on Tear Film Breakup Time. Egyptian Journal of Medical Research. 2021;2:137-148
- Van Den Berg TJ, Van Rijn LJ, Michael R, et al. Straylight effects with aging and lens extraction. Am J Ophthalmol 2007;144(3):358-363
- JJV Data on File 2022. TearStable™ Technology Definition
- Versus publicly available information for standard daily use contact lenses as of July 2022.
- JJV Data on File, 2022. CSM Subjective Responses ACUVUE® OASYS MAX 1-Day Contact Lenses- Retrospective Meta-analysis
- Tsubota K, Nakamori K. Dry eyes and video display terminals. N Engl J Med. 1993;328(8):584. doi: 10.1056/NEJM199302253280817
- Patel S, Henderson R, Bradley L, et al. Effect of visual display unit use on blink rate and tear stability. Optom Vis Sci 1991;68(11):888-892. doi:1097/00006324-199111000-00010
- JJV Data on File 2022. Blue-Violet Filter Utilized in ACUVUE® OASYS MAX 1-Day Contact Lenses
- JJV Data on File 2022. TearStable Technology Definition
- JJV Data on File, 2022. CSM Subjective Responses ACUVUE® OASYS MAX 1-Day Contact Lenses- Retrospective Meta-analysisJJV Data on File 2020. ACUVUE Brand - Eye-Inspired Innovations.