CONTACT LENS PRACTICE PEARLS
GPs: HOW DO THEY FIT INTO YOUR BUSINESS?
JASON R. MILLER, OD, MBA, FAAO
There has been a push from some, including online sellers, to commoditize the contact lens market. Commoditized products are mostly sold on the basis of price and not on brand. Eyecare providers (ECPs), however, understand that all contact lenses are unique in their optics, material, edge design, and overall performance.
GP lenses are available in different designs for a wide variety of refractive and medical needs. The GP market continues to grow, and market analysis revealed that 9% of fits and refits are with these various designs (Nichols, 2016).
The market is most likely growing due to GP lenses’ ability to be individualized to a patient’s ocular surface and unique visual demands. If you are looking to further diversify your contact lens business, step up your GP fits. One specific area of business to evaluate is the multifocal market.
As they age, many patients start asking whether contact lenses are worth the time and expense to continue wearing when their vision may not be up to their expectations. As many as 49% of practitioners reported feeling that their presbyopic patients dropped out of contact lenses primarily due to perceived shortcomings in the vision provided by currently available multifocal designs (Chamberlain, 2012).
This creates an opportunity for the multifocal GP market and is an area poised for growth. Multifocal GPs are ideal for improved visual clarity. These lenses can often provide a greater range of clear vision, which enables ECPs to maximize distance, intermediate, and near vision for their patients.
Figure 1. Multifocal GPs can provide a smooth ocular surface and improved vision at distance, intermediate, and near.
For some patients, multifocal GPs are the only effective way to maximize visual function in today’s visually demanding world. Multifocal GP lenses in a variety of both design and material options are available to ECPs. If your comfort levels are low with these lenses, consider taking a class or workshop at your next conference. There are some fitting techniques that will help improve success rates with each design.
For example, a moderate amount of on-eye movement is OK, but patients may have difficulties if lens movement is excessive. Going bigger and steepening the base curve will usually help improve the fit and vision if that is the case. Additionally, be sure to communicate with your lab’s consultation department if you are unsure what steps to take when things are not going as expected.
Growing your GP lens patient population and being comfortable with the various designs can provide that unique option that many patients are seeking. Satisfying the needs of your demanding presbyopic patients will increase profitability by offering this specialized contact lens service. These GP lens products have the ability to provide improved vision at all distances. CLS
For references, please visit www.clspectrum.com/references and click on document #251.
Dr. Miller is in a partnership private practice in Powell, Ohio, and is an adjunct faculty member for The Ohio State University College of Optometry. He has received honoraria for writing, speaking, acting in an advisory capacity, or research from Alcon, B+L, Revolution EHR, and Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.