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New Double-Masked, Randomized Study Points to a Reliable Way for ODs to Relieve Headaches

Mature woman with headache at home

Photo credit: Getty Images

Evidence backing a solution for your patients experiencing headaches.

By Margery Weinstein
Review of Optometric Business

April 10, 2024

Neurolens has colloquially been referred to as the “headache glasses” for a long time. Now, there is scientifically reliable evidence that these contoured prism lenses really do ease the burden of headaches for many patients.

Last month the company announced the results of a double-masked, crossover study demonstrating a statistically significant level of impact made by Neurolenses on the widely used and validated Headache Impact Test, or HIT-6.

The six-item Headache Impact Test (HIT-6) used in the study was designed to provide a global measure of adverse headache impact by assessing the adverse impact of headaches on social functioning, role functioning, vitality, cognitive functioning and psychological distress—while also measuring the severity of headache pain.

Multiple studies have shown that the HIT-6 is a reliable and valid tool for measuring the impact of headaches on daily life. In effect, Neurolens stated in a press release, this demonstrates that Neurolenses provide a statistically significant improvement on the impact of headaches on patients’ quality of life.

Peer-Reviewed Results

These results were peer reviewed and published by Translational Vision Science & Technology, a medical journal published by the Association of Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO).

“This is a landmark moment, not just for Neurolens, but for the entire vision industry,” said Davis Corley, Neurolens, CEO. “Neurolens is built on a clinical foundation, and we are pleased that a solution as simple and elegant as contoured prism lenses could expand the benefits of the annual eye exam. This study just reinforces what we already know: Neurolenses can change lives.”

In an interview at Vision Expo East in New York City shortly after the results of the study were released, Corley noted the power of these study findings. “It’s not us saying Neurolens demonstrated a significant outcome; it’s a peer-reviewed study.”

To ensure the study’s accuracy and integrity, a cross section of patients were chosen. “We tried to emulate the patients an OD would see in an annual eye exam, rather than cherry picking the worst patients,” Corley explained. He said the study had patients participate from 10 practices. These patients reported moderate-to-severe headaches. “We were trying to mimic what an average practitioner sees on an regular basis,” Corley said.

“We acknowledge that double-masked, crossover peer-reviewed studies are rare in the optometry space, but clinical efficacy is at the foundation of what this organization stands for,” Jason Hurley, OD, study author, said in the press release. “We were thrilled to demonstrate the impact of Neurolens, and equally thrilled to be published in Translational Vision Science & Technology, a top vision science publication.”

A Unique Product Offering

There are other lenses on the market that offer prism, but Corley emphasized that Neurolens has built a robust patent estate to be the only company that can sell contoured prism lenses. It is the contoured prism that makes such a difference to eye misalignment and the relief of headaches, he said.

Offering a product like Neurolens brands a practice as providing a higher-level of care, which patients remember. “You’re offering something beyond what traditional glasses offer,” said Corley. He said that in addition to the great relief from headaches, you may also be providing a better solution financially to patients.

Corley said that the average patient with severe headaches spends $5,000-$10,000 annually on treatments to find relief.

For example, Topamax costs up to $425 per month, or over $5,000 per year, and must be taken twice a day, and there are sometimes side effects of this treatment.

Aimovig, a monthly injection for migraines, can cost up to $800 per dose, or almost $10,000 per year, again not to mention possible side effects.

According to the American Migraine Foundation, the FDA-recommended dose of 155 units for Botox, which is sometimes used to treat severe headaches, can cost around $300–$600 per treatment.

Many of those treatments are not only expensive, but don’t necessarily work. Approximately 80 percent are not satisfied with those treatments, according to an article in the medical journal, Headache.

What’s Next in the Neurolens Innovation Pipeline?

Neurolens will be doubling down on what it does best, said Corley. “We’ll be looking at expansions in our core lens category and expanding and improving on our existing N3 system.”

The N3 system gives ODs a powerful way to measure and quantify patient need for treatment of eye misalignment and eye strain, Corley pointed out. And it’s a system the patient will find memorable. “It’s a virtual reality-centered device, so the patient experience screams differentiation for the optometry practice. Patients say, ‘Wow, I never had a test like that!'”

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