Eight GP Pearls for Your Staff
BY EDWARD S. BENNETT, OD, MSED, FAAO
Success or failure with GP lenses can depend on wearers’ proficiency with lens handling and how well educated they are on care and compliance. The growing trend toward larger lenses (i.e., numerous forms of scleral designs) makes staff member understanding of and effectiveness in teaching GP lens care and handling increasingly important. The good news is that many resources are available to assist staff members on lens care and handling. Following are eight such pearls.
GP Care and Handling Pearls
1. Lens Application Made Easy The key to successful GP application is proper lid retraction. The middle finger of the opposite hand (as eye) positions under the upper lashes and pins the lid margin against the sclera. The middle finger of the same hand (as eye) positions over the lower lashes and pins them against the sclera (Figure 1), and the lens is quickly applied using the index finger of the same hand (as eye).
2. What About Lens Removal? Once again, lid retraction is essential. The conventional “one finger pushing the lids laterally” method is often ineffective with today’s larger-diameter, lower-edge-clearance designs. The best method is to have the middle finger of the opposite hand (as eye) positioned under the upper lashes, pinning the upper lid against the sclera. The middle and forefingers of the same hand (as eye) position over the lower lashes, pinning the lower lid against the sclera. Pushing the lids temporally should eject the lens. For smaller scleral lenses, push the lower lid up vertically rather than temporally.
3. Cleaning Always emphasize that lenses should be cleaned immediately after removal in the palm of the hand.
Figure 1. Proper lid retraction for lens application.
4. What About Tap Water? The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends that contact lenses not be exposed to any form of water because of the possibility of Acanthamoeba keratitis.
5. What Rewetting Drops Should Patients Use? Almost every rewetting drop and lubricant is compatible with GP lenses, but for optimum success in lessening symptoms of dryness and filmy vision it is best to recommend a rewetting drop associated with the prescribed care system or to have readily available a travel size bottle of the wetting solution.
6. Lens Case Care Immediately after lens application, discard the old solution from the wells of the lens case (Wu et al, 2010). Then rub the case with clean fingers for at least five seconds, rinse with contact lens disinfection solution, then wipe dry with a clean cloth.
7. Selling Care Systems Selling bulk packs of the prescribed solutions or using the Menicon WebStore (http://store.menicon america.com) is not only a profit center for the practice, but also aids in compliance. If desired, provide an incentive to staff members who do sell solutions or offer an annual replacement program that also includes a discount on care system fees.
8. Resources There are several effective resources to help staff members become further educated about lens care and handling. The consumer website www.contactlenses.org has videos on how to properly handle GP contact lenses. Allaboutvision.com has care and handling tips for GP lens wearers. A new website, www.contactlenssafety.org, has 50 consumer questions about contact lens safety—with an emphasis on lens care—with answers accompanied by the appropriate sources. CLS
For references, please visit www.clspectrum.com/references.asp and click on document #204.
|Dr. Bennett is assistant dean for Student Services and Alumni Relations at the University of Missouri-St. Louis College of Optometry and is executive director of the GP Lens Institute. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.|