Article Date: 5/1/2004

editor's perspective
Give Your Patients the Latest Technology
BY JOSEPH T. BARR, OD, MS, FAAO, EDITOR

Many, if not most, of our patients have access to and use the latest technology. Their automobiles have the safety of multiple air bags and OnStar navigation. They have the latest cellular phone technology, DVD players, MP3 players and PDAs. Goodness, even I -- no "technogeek" myself -- have multiple air bags in my new car, I recently acquired a DVD player and I have a cell phone that only my daughters really know how to use.

Our patients expect us to inform them of and recommend the latest contact lens technology. What's the latest technology? New corneal reshaping lenses, daily disposable lenses, silicone hydrogel lenses (which I like to refer to as "healthy lenses" for daily and overnight wear), disposable soft toric lenses, disposable soft multifocal lenses, aberration-controlling lenses and the latest lens care and eye drop products. Surely you won't consider everything on this list new, but if you look at what most patients are wearing, I'd hope that you'd recommend the best new complete treatment plans with the best new products for your new fits and refits. Too many of our patients continue to "get along just fine" with their spherical two-week disposable lenses that they replace every three to four weeks. Not only do most of them not have the latest lenses, but they use generic care products or old-fashioned lens care with no enzyme cleaner.

Spherical soft lens wearers who have ­0.75D or more of astigmatism would benefit from disposable toric lenses, especially in this world in which acute vision is critical for computer use and driving. With thousands of baby boomers becoming presbyopic every day, your opportunity to try disposable bifocals is greater than ever. For patients who experience drying symptoms and late-day discomfort, you can fit a number of newer lenses that can claim better performance than older material lenses for relieving these symptoms. Colored soft lenses are available in new colors and patterns, and vast numbers of patients show interest in these lenses if we offer them. And don't forget that the newest GP materials in bifocal, multifocal, aspheric, toric and specialty lenses are better than ever.

How can you give your patients the latest contact lens technology? Go to eyecare meetings, talk to your colleagues, let your manufacturers' sales representatives have some of your time, train your staff and proactively recommend new contact lens technology. You won't look good if your patients learn about it somewhere else. And chances are they will with all the advertising and Web sites they see. The latest technology lenses are better researched, better designed and better manufactured than ever. Get educated about them, recommend them and you'll have healthier, happier, loyal patients -- and most likely greater profits as well.

 


Contact Lens Spectrum, Issue: May 2004