Article

CONTACT LENS PRACTICE PEARLS

HAVE I SET THE STAGE APPROPRIATELY?

There are many visual challenges that our patients face every day, and contact lenses offer an opportunity to improve visual lives. The technology has evolved to meet today’s visual and comfort demands. But, our patients will not know that they qualify for this opportunity unless we tell them about it.

Many patients have failed in contact lenses in the past (or never tried them) because someone told them that they are not a candidate due to “their astigmatism” or “their age.” Instead, you should create that opportunity. Pique their interest by setting the stage for success: “Have you ever considered contact lenses?” or “You are an excellent candidate for this new technology!” Then, follow it up with the why.

1. Moisture There are many things in this digital world, such as dryness, allergies, and fatigue, that can hurt our ability to achieve good vision. This is a hot topic.

New contact lens products are utilizing technology to actually improve ocular surface health. In addition, contact lens manufacturers are always looking for ways to increase the moisture levels that contact lenses can provide.

This will not only provide better vision, but most importantly will improve the comfort during contact lens wear. Newer lenses accomplish this by increasing and retaining that moisture while decreasing eyelid/contact lens friction. Almost every new contact lens launched recently includes the word “moisture” in its name or on the packaging. Capitalize on this, because who wouldn’t want a more moist contact lens?

2. Visual Advantages I’m still surprised when I hear patients say that they can’t wear contact lenses because of their astigmatism or age.

Besides continuing to improve comfort and vision, new contact lens designs have improved the stability of toric lenses and provided wider parameters of astigmatic powers. Additionally, multifocal lens designs have evolved tremendously.

Set the stage with your patients by making statements specific to their situation:

  • Astigmatism: “I’m sorry that you may not have had a good experience in the past with contact lenses because of your astigmatism. I want you to know that a new lens design can provide you with all-day stable, good vision and maintain high levels of all-day comfort.”
  • Presbyopia: “I understand that visual challenges often happen after age 40, but you are an excellent candidate for this new multifocal contact lens design. It is a very comfortable lens and provides improved vision at all distances: far, intermediate, and near.”
  • Myopia Control: “I’m not sure whether you know this, but there are newly developed contact lenses that have been found to slow the progression of myopia during these years. Because your child’s vision has advanced since the last eye examination, consider this technology now or in the near future.”

When they return, follow up on the discussion. “Have you considered those multifocal contact lenses that we talked about last time?”

Final Words

Patients want to get the most up-to-date information from their eye-care provider, not their co-worker, family, or friend. You can enhance loyalty between you and your patients by being that trusted information source and by developing your dialogue for a variety of situations. Many patients will want to go home and think about your recommendations, but you must consistently set the stage for their next appointment. CLS