In a Facebook post in January we mentioned that we were starting to fit a new hybrid contact lens called Duette. Since then we’ve fit several people with these. We’ll be the first to acknowledge this lens isn’t for everyone but for the right person it does solve problems that other lenses can’t. They are hybrid in the sense that they are neither a soft lens nor a hard lens but are actually both at the same time. Duette tries to maximize the advantages while minimizing the disadvantages of each of these lens designs.
The Duette lens combines these lens materials by having a rigid gas permeable center and a soft skirt. The center corrects nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism while the soft skirt provides comfort and prevents dust and debris from getting beneath the lens. The result is a hybrid lens material that is much more comfortable than traditional gas permeable designs. The Duette material is very breathable which helps keep the eyes healthy and white. It also blocks UVA and UVB rays which have been associated with accelerated cataract formation.
This lens comes in two varieties – single vision and multifocal. The single vision lens is great for many patients who have a moderate amount of astigmatism and have been unsuccessful with traditional lenses. Surprisingly to me, the multifocal has been the design that I’ve used most frequently. I think the reason is that there are so many great soft lenses to correct astigmatism and so few good soft lenses that are multifocal designs. On top of that, soft multifocal contact lenses are very limited in their correction of astigmatism and this is where Duette can really shine.
The fitting process with Duette lenses is a bit more complicated than that of soft lenses. Our trial lens set allows us to fit lenses to your eye and develop a prescription but your lenses are custom ordered just for you. The insertion and removal process is different than that of soft or rigid gas permeable lenses also and will take some time to get used to – even for experienced contact lens wearers. Like other types of contact lenses there is an adaptation period. We’ve found that 1-2 weeks is needed to achieve the best vision and comfort with these unique lenses.
Let us know if you are interested in trying Duette. To find out of if you are a candidate call the office at 573-335-3937.
Scott McDougal, O.D.