Contact Lens Practice Pearls
Keep Trying New Products in the New Year
BY GREGORY J. NIXON, OD, FAAO
My previous January columns have often taken the theme of creating New Year’s resolutions to strengthen and grow your contact lens practice. A recent thank you note that I received from a patient reminded of me how important it is to embrace technology and to always offer the newest products to patients. His success story helped lay the groundwork for my own contact lens resolutions this year.
A Seemingly Happy Patient
By all accounts, this gentleman is a loyal and happy patient. After his first visit as a new patient in my office 10 years ago, he transferred the care of his entire family to my practice. We always try to pay special attention to our patients’ visual needs, and perhaps this resulted in such loyalty.
This patient has a successful career in a competitive sales and marketing firm. Because his field is always inundated with new and younger talent, he never wants to give the impression of losing his edge. So, he highly desires the ability to avoid reading glasses over his contact lenses, which might show his age.
Unsurprisingly, attaining the perfect balance of distance and near clarity with multifocal contact lenses has been a challenge for him. Over the last decade, we have used multiple soft and GP multifocal designs with varying degrees of success. Some lenses required part-time use of reading glasses to complete some of his work tasks; those that didn’t, blurred his distance vision so much that he didn’t wear his contact lenses outside of work.
However, for the last two years he has successfully worn Duette Multifocal (SynergEyes) lenses that have provided the best overall vision that he has ever achieved with multifocal contact lenses. Most importantly, they achieved his main goal of uncompromised near clarity without the need for reading glasses. Further, his distance clarity is only slightly compromised (20/20- OU) and allows for effective full-time wear for activities beyond work.
Risk Versus Reward
When this patient presented for his comprehensive exam this year, he intended to simply renew the supply of his current lenses. Despite no real complaints, I recommended the Duette Progressive lens, a newer SynergEyes product in which the optical dynamics have been changed to enhance the balance of distance and near clarity. After dispensing these lenses, I received the following thank you note:
“I am on my second day of wearing the new contacts. They are fantastic!!!! I can read just fine and my distance vision is back!!! I had conceded that I was at a point where this was as good as it was going to get. Thank you for continually searching for an answer and something new to try so that I don’t have to compromise on either side.”
Swing for the Fences
There are times when the old adage “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” applies to a satisfied contact lens patient. However, I contend that you can always try to make a happy patient happier. Let’s face it, you can’t hit a home run unless you take a swing at the plate. Don’t be afraid to step into the batter’s box on behalf of your patients in the coming year. You just might help them see better than they thought they ever could. CLS
Dr. Nixon is the assistant dean for Clinical Services and professor of clinical optometry at The Ohio State University College of Optometry. He is also in a group private practice in Westerville, Ohio. He is on the Allergan Academic Advisory Board, the B+L Advisory Board, the Alcon Glaucoma Advisory Board, and the Alcon Speakers Bureau. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.