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The consultants at Visionary Optics are experts in their field and always ready to help eye care practitioners and patients find the perfect fit for scleral lenses. Every month, we will feature a different Visionary Optics consultant and the valuable work they are doing.
Sabrina Balint has been an optometric technician for more than five years and a consultant with Visionary Optics for almost two years. As an optometric technician, she works closely with optometrists to prepare patients for exams and assist during consultations, exams, fittings, and orders.
Sabrina currently wears Visionary Optics’ Europa and Latitude scleral lenses and knows exactly what to look for during the fitting process. In addition to scleral lens fitting, she is also familiar with several other lens types and strives to stay updated on the most current literature and news in optometry.
Q&A with Consultant Sabrina Balint
What is the best part of your job as a consultant at Visionary Optics?
As a consultant, I enjoy working on lenses for people who would otherwise have a poor quality of vision without their lenses. It is very gratifying to hear about patients who were never able to have good acuities with spectacle correction but are now able to see the world in a clarity that they did not have before. Many of these patients have serious eye diseases or have gone through several ocular procedures that limit their options for visual correction, so it’s very important to me that we create the best lenses that we can for each individual’s needs.
Is there a recent scleral lens fit success story that stands out to you that you can share?
I have two stories that stand out, one related to our new VibrantVue® product line, and one related to the scleral lens fitting process:
- Lid hygiene with VibrantVue®: Recently, I had a case that no matter how we changed the lens fit or material, we could not resolve the fogging issue that was preventing this patient from wearing her lenses for the whole day without multiple removals. After a discussion with her provider, we decided to start her on a dry-eye treatment consisting of the VibrantVue® Lid and Lash Cleanser and the VibrantVue® HOCl Hand Prep Spray. The goal was to improve her meibomian gland function and tear quality to reduce the fogging. After a week, the patient had already begun to see symptom improvement, and within a month the fogging had completely resolved. I think this is a very important case since it serves as a reminder of just how important lid hygiene is for contact lens wearers.
- Latitude lens fitting: There was a patient who had previously been fit with the Europa lens, but within the last year had undergone surgery to have an artificial cornea implanted. Because of the surgery, the central sag was so low that a Europa lens could no longer be used for the fit without a severely excessive fluid vault. I contacted a few doctors who had previous experience fitting scleral lenses over artificial corneas, and we finally settled on using the Latitude free-form design to get the best fit. I was able to get the lens flat enough to minimize the clearance to 300-400µ after a full day of wear time and achieve the best-corrected visual acuities. Besides needing to add a little more clearance over the mid-periphery, the rest of the lens fit excellently! I was incredibly happy that the patient was able to walk out the same day as the dispense with her new lens.
Do you have any advice to doctors on how to make scleral lens fitting as successful as possible for the patients?
I believe that one of the most important things in the fitting process is considering what type of “environment” the patient’s eyes have. When I talk about the ocular environment, I don’t necessarily mean if the patient is kerataconic or post-graft — although these are also very important — rather I’m referring to the tear quality and performance of the meibomian glands.
Many patients get fit with lenses primarily for corneal irregularities, but underlying issues like dry eye oftentimes make the fitting much more difficult. In addition to optimizing the fit, it’s important to pick the right material for the patient and to educate them on the importance of maintaining above-average (preferably excellent) ocular hygiene. Patients with poor tear quality often will experience fogging or buildup on their lenses that can be incredibly tricky to resolve.
Keeping the eyelids clean and maintaining proper meibomian gland function are key components to successful scleral lens wear. Sometimes, this can require more aggressive dry eye treatment methods, but it is worth the effort for clear vision and comfortable lens wear. This shouldn’t be reserved for scleral lenses only, but for all types of RGP and soft contact lenses.
What Doctors Have to Say About Sabrina:
Dr. Zachary Reynard
UAB Eye Care Contact Lens Clinic
Sabrina is AMAZING! She is responsive, detail-oriented, and reliable. I appreciate her clear communication and human touch. Sabrina has been my GO-TO person during residency – my clinical life wouldn’t function without her!
Dr. Lucas Spiker
Envision Eye Care
I have really been impressed with Sabrina! It’s obvious how knowledgeable she is about Visionary’s contact lens designs. She always has a cheerful attitude, which is very much appreciated when I have a difficult fit to complete. Thank you, Sabrina!
Brandon Eyes Inc
I enjoy working with Sabrina! She’s very patient with all my calls that always end up being close to closing time 😆. She’s good at interpreting the changes we need and is super helpful when I have questions or a dilemma in which way to solve a problem. She has helped us through a lot of complex patients, and I hope to continue working with her.
Learn how Visionary Optics can improve scleral lens fitting at your practice. Get in touch with our team.