On March 2, 2022 Johnson & Johnson received FDA approval for their Acuvue Theravision with Ketotifen contact lenses. These lenses are the first and currently only approved drug-eluting contact lenses on the market. They’re made to treat allergies and today I’ll tell you all about them!
Welcome back to Eye school with me, Dr. D where I teach you about products and treatments related to dry eye syndrome and eye beauty so you can have healthy, beautiful, comfortable eyes. Today’s video is largely derived from the press release about theravision as well as my previous research on drug eluting contact lenses. I have not yet had the chance to try these lenses myself but will definitely make a short for you when I've had the opportunity.
Meet Theravision, the FIRST Drug Eluting Contact Lens!
This video is largely derived from the press release about theravision as well as my previous research on drug eluting contact lenses; unfortunately I've not yet had the chance to try these lenses myself but I will definitely make a short for you when I've had the opportunity. I actually tried to order myself a pair but they're not available yet through my distributor so it is what it is but i at least wanted to let you know that they're out there and you can start asking your eye doctor about these lenses.
Drug eluting contact lenses are something I have discussed in the past and they are finally a reality here in the United States. The first one to market is a contact lens containing 19mcg Ketotifen, a well-established antihistamine. It brings to market a new option for contact lens wearers with allergies.
Drug Eluting Contacts Could Replace Glasses During Allergy Season
The old alternatives were to either switch to daily disposables during allergy season, use allergy drops along with traditional frequent replacement contact lenses, or switch to glasses during allergy season. This contact lens is a daily disposable indicated for the prevention of ocular itch due to allergic conjunctivitis and provides vision correction in patients who do not have red eyes, who are suitable for contact lens wear and who do not have more than 1.0 diopter of astigmatism.
Within the U.S., approximately 40 percent of contact lens wearers suffer from itchy eyes due to ocular allergies3, and nearly 8 out of 10 contact lenses wearers with eye allergies agree that they are frustrated when allergies interfere with their normal contact lens wear.4 While allergy eye drops are a very common treatment, 1 in 2 contact lens wearers say that the drops are inconvenient to use.5
How Allergies and Dry Eye are Related
Overall, I’m really excited to try the lenses as I think they’re a great treatment alternative for my patients with ocular allergies, especially here in North Carolina where the pollen falls like snow.
I think caution is indicated in patients with dry eyes. You know I'm going to relate everything back to dry eye on my youtube channel and in this blog because that's what I treat my clinic and I designed my channel and this blog for my people with dry eye. I like that it's a daily lens of course, but ketotifen can be drying so consider that if you have dry eyes already.
I always say that dry eyes and allergies tend to live in the same house, so allergies create holes in the tear film leading to dry eye and dry eye can make allergies worse because you don't have that nice protective tear layer and so allergies are very common in dry eye patients. That's why I recorded this video and wrote this blog for you, but use a bit of caution.
I typically try to keep my dry patients away from ketotifen drops because of the drying effect they have so just use caution. I haven't tried them in the clinic yet but these are my thoughts. I did try to get my hands on a pair of these lenses so I could try them and give you more feedback but they were not yet available through my distributor. So that video will have to wait.