Since the early 90’s, Dr. Boyco (a board certified eye doctor) has been trying to find the answer to negative outcomes from contact lens over-wear in his patient population. The repercussions of low breathability from normal lenses is a common reason for patients to develop very serious side effects from wearing contact lenses. Frequently, patients will just ‘give up’ contact lenses and go back to their glasses, but often more serious consequences seen are pink eye (conjunctivitis), corneal abrasions, eye irritation, corneal ulcers, eye infections (bacterial, viral and even more serious fungal etiologies), and even blindness.
Given the era, the seemingly best solution was laser refractive surgery. Dr. Boyco purchased Lasik Eye Centres from the defunct Lasik Vision Canada (the parent corp. of Lasik Vision USA). While a successful answer to the problems associated with a component of contact lens overwearers, it didn’t address younger patients with eyes that were still changing. “You can’t expect patients to just come in every year for a laser refractive touch up when their eyes are still developing as teens and young adults, or moreover after 40 when their reading (near) vision is changing” Dr. Boyco said. A person’s prescription usually doesn’t stabilize enough to meet laser eye surgery criteria until their late 20’s.
“It’s like laser eye surgery in a box”
This was the ‘ah ha’ moment. Wouldn’t it be great to have a healthy, breathable material that you simply couldn’t over wear? A great deal of research dollars was being spent on silicone hydrogel contact lenses for patients with corneal transplants, serious ulcers and sight threatening abrasions. Why couldn’t these lenses be mass produced allowing better pricing for the general public? The age old adage about buying in bulk should apply, right?
Dr. Boyco contacted many different manufacturers of many of these lenses from the Netherlands to Taiwan with a proposition.
Would one of these companies partner with him in research and development to:
- Mass produce Silicone Hydrogel contact lenses for the general population
- Bulk production allows better standards, repeatability and thus better quality.
- Bulk produce commercial lenses bringing lower pricing and availability of different prescriptions to the public.
Before this could happen, they needed an audience…
It so happened that Dr. Boyco also owned the largest eye care chain in Canada, Image Optometry – here he had a built in patient base with a thirst for a better contact lens.
HD2O was born.