Article Date: 12/1/2006

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Grow Your Practice with Specialty Presbyopic Lenses

BY AMIR KHOSHNEVIS, OD

Like many colleagues in this ever-changing profession, I found myself excited about the mounting surge of baby boomers flooding my office with emerging presbyopia. I planned to prescribe state-of scribe mostly progressive lenses, but I also realized that I had some good soft and GP multifocal contact lenses available to satisfy spectacle-adverse patients.

Well, I quickly came to realize that the much-awaited group of presbyopes not only had work demands requiring clear and predictable vision at all distances, but they also had expectations requiring new levels of performance.

When I had patients who were disappointed because of limitations with contact lenses, my typical solution was to direct them to the eyewear department for a pair of lightweight, AR-coated spectacles. I was never a fan of GP multifocals based on my personal history of moderate success as well as countless conversations with colleagues offering me the same feedback.

Trying a New Option

However, my success rate took a major turn for the better when I started working with ABBA's Custom Eyes Bifocal and EZEyes Multifocal contact lenses. As a result, I've not only seen an increase in referrals from satisfied patients, but I've also experienced professional gratification.

In our field, the key to any good technological advancement is ease of use in the clinical setting and ultimately, patient happiness. When I began investigating these GP lenses, I was impressed by the innovative designs and I could see how these lenses, combined with the right materials (such as Onsi 56, Lagado Corporation), could provide my practice with a new, viable option for treating presbyopia.

Fitting Techniques

Soon after I started fitting these lenses, I began ordering them through ABBA's Web site (www.abbaoptical.com) as well as receiving assistance from their consulting team.

I've found that you should choose the right design based on the particular patient's visual needs and/or occupation. A simple pearl to remember is that the bifocal design works well for patients who have high near-point demand, while the multifocal design serves the needs of most patients requiring clear vision at all distances, especially the intermediate zone. Both lenses exhibit great translation and improved comfort in part because of ABBA's "lid rest technology."

What differentiates the EZEyes Multifocal from the Custom Eyes Bifocal is the EZEyes' hybrid design, which combines an aspheric back surface with a crescent-shaped segment on the front surface, resulting in an intermediate zone below the central zone. A smooth transition area centrally on the segment blends the distance and near zones to prevent image jump.

This fitting strategy has yielded success levels previously unattainable in my practice. I have refit GP and soft contact lens wearers with these lenses as well as spectacle lens wearers who were previously unsuccessful with contact lenses.

Furthermore, first time lens wearers have been excellent candidates and often are the most appreciative patients.

In our world of declining margins because of heavy competition, soft contact lenses sold as loss leaders and patients perceiving their contact lenses as a commodity, we need to differentiate ourselves from all others in order to thrive. I recommend that you promote advanced technology and specialty contact lenses as well as learn to properly bill for the medical management of your patients' ocular health as it relates to contact lens wear.

Dr. Khoshnevis has practiced in Charlotte, NC, since 1998 and founded Carolina Family Eye Care in 2003. He was also named North Carolina Young Optometrist of the Year in 2003.



Contact Lens Spectrum, Issue: December 2006