Manage contact lens-related dryness

Contact lens safety has been in the spotlight even more than usual since the FDA released recommendations on the use and packaging of multipurpose solutions in June.

The ambidextrous instrument provides accurate IOP measurements (±0.2 mm Hg) because of its micro-strain gauge technology, which measures small corneal deviations; sighting lines that enable corneal visualization for appropriate tip placement both centralization and perpendicularity; and a proprietary, high-resolution waveform analysis algorithm.

The hand-held device is also light, weighing only 3 ounces, which makes it very comfortable and easy for the operator to use. Additionally, it has integrated software for calculating an adjusted IOP based on central corneal thickness.

Thanks to new gravity-offset technology, the need for calibration is also minimized with the AccuPen, relative to other hand-held tonometers. Its disposable tip sheaths assure there is no cross-contamination and helps reduce expenses.

Farrell "Toby" Tyson, MD, is medical director of Cape Coral Eye Center, Cape Coral, FL, a busy group practice where the AccuPen has been available for about 1 year, beginning with a prototype model.

"We really appreciate the ergonomics of this hand-held tonometer, which facilitates aligning the eye with the tip, and have been very pleased with its reliably accurate performance," Dr. Tyson said.

He added that the AccuPen has been well received by the entire staff, which found the simplicity of its use virtually eliminated any learning curve. While lightweight, the handheld tonometer also has a rugged, durable design so that it stands up well to daily wear and tear.

"Although our staff does their best to handle equipment with the utmost of care, instruments can still take a beating as they are passed around day after day from one exam lane to another. Compared with our previous hand-held tonometer, the AccuPen appears less fragile in daily use," Dr. Tyson said.

The AccuPen is also equipped with a low-cost, long-lasting, 3.6 V lithium battery that provides power for up to 15,000 measurements.

Timesaving device

Suzanne Fravel, COA, is an ophthalmic assistant at Cape Coral Eye Center. She concurs with Dr. Tyson about the reliability of the AccuPen and noted that it offers a timesaving benefit because the need for calibration is reduced.

"The small tip design also seems to enhance contact on the cornea, and together with its rapid readout, the AccuPen makes IOP measurement very patient friendly," Fravel said.

James O'Connor, marketing manager, Accutome, describes accuracy and portability as the major benefits of the AccuPen. In addition, the instrument was created to be as easy as possible to use, he said.

"The AccuPen features a great ergonomic design so that it fits comfortably in any hand. That is because we took a few different moldings and surveyed users to identify which was the easiest to use," O'Connor noted.

Additionally, although calibration is an issue with other hand-held tonometers, there is no need to calibrate before each use with the AccuPen, which features gravity-offset technology.

"With the AccuPen, the user merely has to hold the instrument in the measurement position, press the button and tap the eye. A pressure measurement is typically obtained with three to five gentle taps to the cornea," he said.