Contact lenses have at least two other purposes aside from correcting vision in the same manner as glasses. These are to change temporarily the curvature of the cornea and for decorative purposes. The procedure that seeks to change the eye curvature is called orthokeratology. They are commonly prescribed to be worn while sleeping and are removed upon awakening. Vision correction, however, may wear off during the day as the effect is only temporary.
Non-corrective lenses, also called plano are used for decorative purposes only such as changing the color of the eye or for some effects as in Halloween themes.
There are two (2) general categories of contact lenses which are soft and rigid gas permeable (RGP). Soft contact lenses, as its name aptly suggests are soft, flexible plastics that allow oxygen to pass through to the cornea. Newer versions include silicone-hydrogels to provide more oxygen for the eyes. RGP lenses are more durable and provide a clearer vision. Although not as initially comfortable as soft contacts, they are much easier to handle and less likely to tear.
Both types may be used for extended wear contact lenses or those used for overnight and continuous wear, but only a few RGP lenses are designed and approved for such purposes.
If you have been purchasing your contact lenses online for a while you know that prices change all the time and it is wise to compare prices every time you need to refill your supply. Most merchants will send you an email reminder just before your contact lens supply should be running out and may even offer a small discount on your next purchase. But just because you purchased from them last time doesn’t necessarily mean they are currently offering the best deal you could get. After all, that’s what shopping on the internet is all about – not being tied down to a specific merchant or optometrist. It is so easy to compare prices online and since you are getting sealed brand name contact lenses according to your prescription, you can shop worry free knowing you will be getting the exact same product no matter where you shop.
But while there are many shopping search engines available that can help you compare prices on your contact lenses, they don’t always offer the lowest price you can get. In fact, most websites actually keep their lowest prices a secret and don’t publish them online. They do this in order to maintain a higher level of profitability. If you want their true low prices you have to use one of their coupon codes. For instance, 1800Contacts may offer a higher price on your Focus Dailies than their competition but using one of 1800Contacts coupons you can actually get a much lower price.
If you follow our site frequently you are probably aware that most contact lens sites offer new coupons about once a month. But they are often hard to find and there hasn’t been a good place available that lists all coupons offered by the various merchants. That is – until now. A great service is available at deallocker.com. They list thousands of free online coupons and allow users to submit news ones they discover for everyone to enjoy. But the really cool thing about them is their toolbar addon which you can easily install in your browser. Using the toolbar you can find all the available coupon codes for any site you visit simply by clicking the link in the toolbar. This way you don’t have to go back and forth from the merchant’s site to deallocker.com simply browse around the web and all the coupon codes you need are always available to you.
It looks like some of Bausch and Lomb’s troubles are finally beginning to show resolution. The company has reported that their contact lens solution plant in Greenville has cleared inspection by federal regulators. This is one of the few positive steps the company has achieved over the past year and a half after they have suffered from two contact lens solution product recalls.
The first recall of their top line Renu with MoistureLoc was completely discontinued last year after the solution was connected to hundreds of cases of Fusarium keratitis, a dangerous eye infection which in extreme cases can lead to blindness. But this didn’t end the company’s troubles a few months later Bausch and Lomb had to recall millions of bottles of their Renu MultiPlus after trace amounts of iron were detected in the solution which could cause the cleaner to lose effectiveness earlier than it should. While this was a temporary recall and no actual cases of consumers hurt by the product, the recall of Renu MultiPlus was a big blow to the company’s reputation since this was considered a proven and tested solution for contact lenses.
With the two recalls coming one after the other and the second being announced while many lawsuits are still underway against the company, the future did not look good for B&L. But with Bausch and Lomb’s new ownership, many believe the company can turn itself around. The company is putting a lot of weight in marketing their new line of silicon hydrogel contact lenses sold under the Purevision brand and consider the Purevision line to be the catalyst for driving future growth.
More and more eye care professionals are beginning to complement their business with a virtual presence by creating their own website. Eye doctors’ website used to be limited mainly to showcase sites featuring details and information about their practice, services and prices. But the growing pressure and competition from nationwide contact lens e-commerce site offering rock bottom prices is driving more and more doctors to create their own e-commerce site or add online ordering capabilities to their current sites.
But many doctors are discovering that there is a big difference between a showcase website and an ecommerce site. But while the task can be challenging there are many solutions available to make the process easier. Most contact lens sites (private doctor owned sites) are divided into two categories, namely – drop ship sites and self fulfillment sites. Obviously the first option is typically much simpler as it takes most of the logistical aspect away from the doctors but many doctors are still opting for a self fulfill site since it offers greater control and allows more aggressive pricing.
Another challenge which most eye care practices aren’t set up for is accepting online payments. There are a number of solutions which can easily be implemented into almost any type of website which take away the entire billing process from doctors to worry about. A great source for most sites is First Data Independent Sales which offers a complete set of tools for an overall billing and payment processing solution. The company is a registered ISO/MSP for clearing and settlement institutions and offers an API tool set for implementing their solution directly into a retailers website.
Doctors can especially benefit from this system since they can use it for their day to day operation as well. The company allows manual credit card transactions offering doctors a one stop shop solution to accept credit cards from both in-store customers as well as their website customers.
Dow Jones ran an article last week speculating on the possible impact the recent contact lens solution infections will have on daily contact lens sales. This comes after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control issued a warning last month of a possible connection between the “Acanthamoeba keratitis” eye infections and a lens solution made by Advanced Medical Optics Inc. This is the third case of a suspected infection among top brand contact lens solutions over the past year.
According to the article the common perception among analysts, doctors and contact lens manufacturers is that the ongoing concern of infections with the use of monthly or yearly lenses (requiring cleaning with solutions) could boost the sales of daily contact lenses. Using daily contact lenses eliminates this concern since a new pair is used each day and no cleaning solution is required.
So far sales of daily contact lenses in the United States only account for a small percent of contact lens sales due to their higher price tag. However recent sales and rebates offered by the leading manufacturers have drastically reduced the price of these lenses for consumers. Ciba Vision the manufacturer of Focus Dailies contact lenses as well as Focus Dailies Toric and Focus Dailies Progressives (the only daily contact lenses available for patients with astigmatism and patients requiring multifocal lenses) have recently come out with a $200 rebate on a yearly supply of Focus Dailies. This brings the price of their popular daily lenses pretty close to the cost of monthly lenses.
Johnson & Johnson, the manufacture of Acuvue contact lenses has recently launched a new website designed to remind patients when it is time to replace their contact lenses.
Most contact lenses have a certain replacement schedule recommended by the lens manufacturer or by the patient’s doctor and can range from one day to a month or two. However, many patients neglect to replace their lenses on time which can lead to lens infection and cause serious damage to their eyes.
Contact lens wearers looking to sing up for the service must register online at www.acuminder.com. Members have a choice of receiving their reminders either via e-mail, text message, or a computer desktop widget. During registration, users must provide their name, ZIP code and an e-mail address. They must also disclose their eye doctor’s name, the recommended length of contact lens use, and the last time they changed lenses.
The Advertising Standards Authority has accepted Ciba Vision’s position against Johnson & Johnson regarding their advertising campaign for the compnay’s 1 Day Acuvue contact lenses. In recent publications, J&J have stated their Acuvue lenses to be ‘Significantly superior comfort than Focus Dailies with AquaComfort’.
The ASA ruled that J&J should refrain from making similar statements unless they can base the claim with proper research studies.
Ciba Vision in response claimed they conducted their own research which showed that customers preferred their Focus Dailies contact lenses and reported improved comfort compaired with J&J’s 1 Day Acuvue lenses.
Contact lens giant Bausch & Lomb is just full of surprises. Just one week after its announcement regarding the possible buyout by private equity firm Warburg Pincus for about $3.6 billion they now report interest from Advanced Medical Optics Inc suggesting a bidding war may be ahead.
While the company left the door open for further interest following the Warburg Pincus offer, the quick response from Advanced Medical Optics caught the industry by surprise. This is the same company which suffered from two product recalls in the past twelve months and still hasn’t recovered from the loss of their leading product Renu with Moistureloc solution.
Bausch & Lomb just published on their website that their ReNu Lens Care Products meet the TSA’s air travel carry-on restrictions. B&L claim their’s is the only solution sold under the 3 oz. carry-on limit.
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