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CONTACT LENS PRACTICE PEARLS

CONVERT PRESBYOPES AT A HIGHER LEVEL

When it comes to growing your contact lens patient base, many practices underachieve in successfully converting more wearers, especially in the case of presbyopes. Several key factors can make a big difference. It starts with connecting your patients’ visual demands to the benefits of contact lenses.

How to Show the Benefits of Contact Lenses

Step 1) Find your patients’ “why.” Why do our patients want to wear contact lenses? Is it because they just don’t like wearing glasses? Do they feel like they would look better without glasses? Maybe contact lenses are a better fit for their active lifestyle or work environment. Whatever the reason, dig deep into your patients’ work and recreational lifestyle to understand their unique visual demands.

Some patients struggle with adjusting to progressive addition lenses, which would be an opportunity to introduce contact lenses. Your staff can be key to obtaining the proper information ahead of time and introducing the idea of wearing contact lenses. Many patients will pursue contact lenses if they know how contact lenses can help improve their appearance or provide better functionality.

Step 2) Offer the optimal contact lens to satisfy each patient’s why. Customize your treatment based on their visual demands. Patients want the highest comfort during wear, and they expect consistent, clear, sharp vision at all distances. Explain to them a little about the technology and how the fitting process works upfront. Some patients can get frustrated early on if their vision is not what they expect out of their lenses. They may not understand how “brain adaptation” works with lenses for presbyopia.

Step 3) Maximize comfort and convenience. Unless a patient asks specifically for a reusable lens, daily disposable lenses are a great start. There are quite a few great multifocal daily disposable design options in the market. This is usually my starting point.

Step 4) Use your follow-up appointments wisely. Stress the importance of wearing the contact lenses as much as possible to help with adaptation, and especially stress to wear them to the follow-up appointment even if they are not perfect yet. This is where the customization comes into play. Manufacturers’ fitting guides are great resources to maximize success, but it may come down to the patient choosing between two different prescriptions depending on their visual needs. Most often, it is between one lens combination that provides a little better distance vision and one lens combination that provides a little extra near vision.

The Plan in Action

For example, a 49-year-old female patient, who works as a nurse, presented complaining of her deteriorating near vision. She has progressive addition lenses and over-the-counter reading glasses, but she is getting tired of needing them more often. Her spectacle prescription is +1.00 –0.50 x 101 OD and +1.25 –0.75 x 083 OS, with a +1.75D add. She remembered that we had discussed the possibility of wearing contact lenses at her last appointment and would like to consider that option.

This patient was fit into daily disposable multifocal lenses and chose the power combination that gave her 20/20 vision OU at distance and 20/25 vision OU at near. This did require an adjustment from the initial lenses that we had trialed. She ultimately chose this power combination even though she did notice a little less sharpness at a distance, but she really enjoyed the near vision with her job responsibilities during the work week.

Worth the Time and Effort

Presbyopic contact lens fits can be tricky and do require more time compared to traditional lens fits due to their visual demands. Take the extra time to make these patients happy, as they can be your biggest supporters and source of referrals. Your potential growth with this patient demographic can be a big opportunity for your practice. CLS