HEV filter contact lens technology helps reduce light scattering

John Buch, OD, MS, with JJV, shares an update on the company's HEV filter contact lens.

John Buch, OD, MS, with JJV, shares an update on the company's HEV filter contact lens during the 2022 American Academy of Optometry meeting in San Diego

Editor's note: This transcript has been edited for clarity.

So I'm Dr. John Buch. I'm a Senior Principal Research optometrist at Johnson and Johnson Vision.

And so the unmet need that our team brought with this lens was really born out of the market research that was done that that showed us that people spend a lot of time on digital devices now. And we also know that working on a digital device, you blink significantly less than what you do in normal conversation. And whenever you blink less, you set up that opportunity for an unstable tear film, and that in and of itself can cause poor comfort and poor vision.

So we, we looked at that data, and along with the fact that people were unsatisfied with their current contact lenses, there was data out on that. And we felt that it was time to bring something better to the market.

So bringing Max to market means, for patient care anyway, it's a lot of good performance and for digital device use, so people that spend a lot of time on digital screens, it could be a particular benefit for them. Because again, we know that they blink less, and we know that this lens has a technology in it that prolongs the tear film, and it also allows the lens to maintain more of its moisture; it doesn't evaporate near as quickly.

And also you look at, it has a particular application for the older population as well. Because we know that when you get older, your tear film stability decreases by 50% by the time you're 50 years old. We also know that your intraocular scattering of your eye actually increases as you age as well; it doubles by the age of 60 and triples by the age of 70. So this lens has technologies to address those needs.

The HEV component, the filtering component, of this contact lens has the main function of reducing light scattering. And light scattering in and of itself has a lot of other influences with it. Like it has a direct influence on our perception of light sensitivity and glare. So this HEV filter directly influences that metric.

So some of the sources of HEV light, which actually we define as about 380 to 500 nanometers, the main source of that light is of course, sunlight. You go outside, it's very, very strong outside. So actually, whenever you're outside, and whenever you're next to a window, you're probably being exposed to it because although some windows will specifically filter part of it, they don't filter all of it. So you're constantly being exposed. Now, some of the cooler white LED lights will also start to emit wavelengths in that range, but for sure the predominant wavelength is coming from the sun.

So HEV light is the shorter end of the visible spectrum, the shorter wavelength end; it's a higher energy. And we just know from Rayleigh scattering, it's just physics, that the higher the energy, the shorter the wavelength. It just scatters so much more light than the longer wavelengths in the orange and the red wavelengths.

So the OptiBlue filter technology that we put into this lens, it is a chromophore that we had to actually specially formulate for this lens for a couple of reasons. One, we had to get the transmission spectrum that we wanted out of the lens, plus the--don't forget that the chromophore has to marry with our contact lens substrate, it has to play nice with with our contact lens materials.

The TearStable technology that's incorporated into this lens really comes out of how the lens is manufactured. We had to develop a entirely different manufacturing technique because when you add a chromophore to our lenses, and you try to cure them, well, there's some competition there. It doesn't cure the same as when the chromophore's out of there. So the manufacturing technique that we used does promote a more even distribution of our wetting agent polyvinylpyrrolidone throughout the lens matrix and also at the at the lens surface.

Now what we do know is we're able to prove that the subjects that are wearing Acuvue Oasys Max have a 1.6 times greater likelihood of having a stable tear film beyond 10 seconds compared to Acuvue Oasys 1-Day. And the reason that's important and how it relates to metrics such as comfort is peripheral breakup time on the tears is associated with with discomfort feeling. So if we're able to prolong when that happens, it will, should, prolong their comfort as well.

Photostress recovery time is a, it's a test that's been around for decades. And it's often used to differentiate problems between the macula, or is it an optic nerve problem? So it's been in use a long time for that, but it is a metric of visual function. But what it is is the eyes are exposed to a very bright light source or a prolonged light source, and what you do is essentially you'll bleach the retina; you get that after image where you can't see. Then when that light source is removed, we're simply measuring how fast does it take for your vision to return? And that's the photostress recovery time.

So we did conduct a study that looked at photostress recovery time, and discomfort glare. And what we found with this study is subjects that were wearing the Acuvue Max lens had a 24% reduction in photostress recovery time, and they had a 45% reduction in discomfort glare compared to lens that didn't have the blue violet filter in it, which was Acuvue Oasys 1-Day.

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