Contact Lens Design & Materials
Your Excuses Need a Reshaping
BY DAVID L. KADING, OD, FAAO
You may be thinking, “I have perfectly good reasons for not fitting orthokeratology.” Let me assure you—you don’t. Let’s consider five reasons why you haven’t shaped your practice to include this modality: 1) It is something new; 2) My patients are not interested in it; 3) It’s a little too complicated; 4) Patients hate GP lenses; and 5) Name any other excuse here.
1. It Is Something New
True, but you have brought many new things into your office. You have new frame lines; you have incorporated new diagnostic technology. This is just one more thing. Here are three reasons why this one is different: 1) Ortho-k almost always eliminates daytime contact lens discomfort; 2) Patients can really benefit from it, especially when used for off-label myopia control; and 3) It brings in far greater revenue (that patients gladly pay) compared to other contact lens options.
2. My Patients Are Not Interested in It
Bull honkey—have you asked them? When I present ortho-k for off-label myopia control, especially when I show evidence from the literature, my young patients’ parents gladly have their children fit and usually refer other families into the office.
Your patients are interested, they just may never have heard of ortho-k. Bring in the technology, and send out a mailing to all of your patients. You’d be surprised how many bring it up if you don’t. I was embarrassed just this week when a longtime patient mentioned the treatment as an alternative to his monovision in which he wore a single contact lens. He was intrigued, and he was the one who brought it up.
Figure 1. A classic ortho-k fluorescein pattern for myopia treatment.
3. It’s a Little Too Complicated
Come on, you’re an eyecare practitioner. You manipulate vision with lenses and prisms. Ortho-k is not rocket science. Reach out to any one of our industry partners who specialize in the treatment, and let them share with you how simple it is.
4. Patients Hate GP Lenses
For many patients, the initial awareness that they experience from GPs results from their lids moving over the lenses. With ortho-k lenses generally being worn during sleep when the eyes are closed, this lens awareness is almost completely eliminated. After patients have worn ortho-k lenses for one to three weeks, they usually apply their lenses and then read or watch television before getting some shut eye. They adapt very quickly.
5. Name Any Other Excuse Here
It is just an excuse that can be overcome. It has been overcome by thousands of practitioners around the world who are reshaping patients’ lives one lens at a time. Beyond the modality’s amazing capability to provide device-free clear vision during waking hours, ortho-k offers the major benefit of slowing the progression of nearsightedness in young patients.
No More Excuses
When my moderate-to-severe myopic patients turn 20 and hear about ortho-k, I don’t want to have to come up with an excuse for why I didn’t consider the treatment for them. I encourage you to reshape your opinions and consider bringing the technology into your office. Shooting down our excuses molds us all into better clinicians. CLS
Dr. Kading owns the Specialty Dry Eye and Contact Lens Center in Seattle. He is the co-owner of Optometric Insights with Dr. Mile Brujic. He has received honoraria for consulting, performing research, speaking, and/or writing from Alcon, Allergan, Bausch + Lomb, CooperVision, Oculus, Ocularis Pharma, RPS, Shire, TearScience, Valeant Pharmaceuticals, Valley Contax, Zeiss, and ZeaVision. Follow him on Twitter @davekading.