Daily Disposable Wear . . . How to Make It Happen!
BY WALTER D. WEST, O.D., F.A.A.O.
Patients today are not as concerned about cost as they are about quality, especially when eye health is at stake. They look to us to recommend the vision correction option that best meets their needs. For many, this is unquestionably daily disposable lenses.
Different categories of patients require different approaches. The advantages that appeal to one patient may differ from those that appeal to another. The key is to spend a few minutes with each patient learning about his or her lifestyle requirements, finding out whether or not the patient has had a previously unsuccessful experience with contact lenses and gathering other information that you can't obtain from a routine examination.
Too frequently, we make the mistake of presenting contact lenses as an all-or-nothing option. I always tell satisfied spectacle wearers that there's no need to convert entirely from one form of vision correction to the other. I'll often begin with:
"Most of my spectacle patients tell me that they remove their eyeglasses when they want to look their absolute best, such as when having a photograph taken. They like the correction they get with spectacles, but prefer how they look without them. There's an excellent contact lens option that gives you the flexibility of not always having to wear your eyeglasses."
Once spectacle wearers experience part-time wear with daily disposable lenses, they often progress to full-time daily disposable wear.
CONTACT LENS DROPOUTS
When talking with patients who previously tried and discontinued contact lens wear, I try to find out why they were displeased -- whether their dissatisfaction stemmed from discomfort, inconvenience, deposit buildup, poor vision or a combination of factors. If I'm convinced that the patient is a good candidate for daily disposable lenses, I explain how this modality addresses each of his complaints, such as:
"I know deposit buildup can be pretty discouraging, but fortunately, we have a new option in daily wear that avoids that problem."
Some patients are immediately convinced to try daily disposables, but to those who may still be skeptical, I suggest beginning daily disposable wear part-time:
"Why don't you take advantage of the free trial lenses and see how you like them? You can begin by wearing them as few hours or as few days as you like. I think you'll find a dramatic improvement over other types of contact lenses you've tried."
In most instances, patients find that daily disposable lenses eliminate their objections to contact lens wear.
Many conventional contact lens wearers are in a vision correction rut. To them, I emphasize that contact lens wear has progressed substantially over the past few years. I explain that we can offer a range of options from daily disposable to extended wear disposable and two-week replacement regimens:
"Because you're a very successful contact lens wearer, I want to tell you about some new options that you may find even more satisfactory than your current lenses. Some of these options, such as daily disposable wear, offer significant eye health and comfort advantages as well as convenience. You might want to give daily disposables a try. We have free trial lenses available. The difference may surprise you."
DISPOSABLE EW PATIENTS
Satisfied disposable extended wear patients already have the ultimate in convenience. Explain that daily disposables are also very convenient and offer the added benefit of being the healthiest option available for their eyes. I tell these patients:
"I realize that convenience is very important to you. But, I also know that eye health is extremely important. When disposable extended wear was introduced, it was a major improvement over conventional extended wear. Now we can offer you the next level of eye health in contact lens wear -- a brand new lens each and every day."
The success of a new product is not so much a function of price or patient interest as it is a function of your enthusiasm about the product and your willingness to inform and educate patients about it. CLS
References are available from the editors at Contact Lens Spectrum, or to receive them via fax, call (800) 239-4684 and request Document #25.
Dr. West lectures nationally and internationally. He is in private practice in Brentwood, Tenn.