As we head toward the end of the calendar, we begin to ramp up our planning for exciting coverage in 2018. As always, the January issue of Contact Lens Spectrum provides some special highlights and summaries of the prior year that are always of great interest.
One tradition we have is to also report on our “Event of 2017”–something that we think stands out in the field of contact lenses. It’s traditional for us to solicit nominations for this event from our readership. If you have a nomination–something that you think is substantial in the contact lens field and occurred in 2017–please let us know by emailing me directly at email@example.com.
Jason J. Nichols, OD, MPH, PhD
Gift of Sight Program Provides Free Eye Care to Underinsured
The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Optometry and the Jefferson County Department of Health are partnering for the fourth consecutive year to bring comprehensive eye exams and free glasses to low-income and underinsured Birmingham residents. Community Eye Care, the community outreach arm of the UAB School of Optometry, is hosting the event from Nov. 29 through Dec. 2.
With the help of sponsors including VSP, Remote Area Medical, Alabama Lions Sight, and Allergan, free eyeglasses and eye exams are provided to patients who need them.
Applications for the Gift of Sight program are available through UAB School of Optometry and the Jefferson County Department of Health. To inquire about making a donation to the Gift of Sight, call UAB Eye Care at (205) 934-3088.
ABB Optical Group Releases Year-to-Date Industry Insights
According to data from ABB Optical Group, a resource for identifying industry trends and projecting areas of future growth, daily disposable contact lenses dominated market share from January through September 2017.
The data represent organic practice growth or same-store sales within ABB Optical Group and show that:
* Dollar growth of soft contact lenses was up 7.4%, fueled by the daily disposable modality, which grew nearly 20%.
* Daily disposables captured a market share of 44% compared to the declining two-week modality, which is at 21%.
* Dollar growth of multifocals was up 15%, and dollar growth of torics was up 11%.
Consultation Hours Expanded at Alden Optical
Bausch + Lomb’s Specialty Vision Products Business has expanded its fitting consultation hours at Alden Optical from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday. These expanded hours will provide eyecare professionals with additional access to Alden Optical’s team of consultants, all FCLSA trained, while providing them with the tools they need to provide the best care to patients who have challenging visual conditions, according to the company.
Imprimis Launches Compounded Cyclosporine-Based Formulations
Imprimis Pharmaceuticals, Inc., an ophthalmology-focused pharmaceutical company, announced that it is making compounded cyclosporine-based formulations. These formulations, which will be packaged in a multi-use preservative-free bottle, are patent-pending and include Klarity Drops.
The company states that the Imprimis cyclosporine-based formulations, which are made from U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved drug components and compounded in FDA-inspected facilities, require a patient-specific prescription and may be customized according to patients’ individual needs.
The initial prescription will cost 99 cents for a one-month supply. Refills will cost $79, including shipping. The company says that it will begin marketing the compounded cyclosporine formulation to eyecare practitioners who currently use Imprimis and the company will be filling their patients’ orders right away.
Global Specialty Lens Symposium – January 25-28, 2018
Hear the latest contact lens insights, clinical advancements, and technology improvements from world-renowned speakers. Register today and earn up to 35 CE hours. COPE, NCLE, JCAHPO, and Florida Board of Optometry credits available. www.GSLSymposium.com
Melissa Barnett, OD, Sacramento, CA
This image shows a corneal GP lens on a keratoconic cornea with recurrent corneal hydrops. This patient wears the contact lenses comfortably all day with best-corrected vision of 20/20 in each eye. It is important to mention that this patient was previously unsuccessful with scleral lenses due to corneal edema.
We thank Dr. Barnett for this image and welcome photo submissions from our other readers! It is easy to submit a photo for consideration for publishing in Contact Lenses Today. Simply visit http://www.cltoday.com/upload/upload.aspx to upload your image. Please include a detailed explanation of the photo and your full name, degree or title, and city/state/country.
CARE SOLUTION CORNER
Andrew D. Pucker, OD, PhD
Maximizing Compliance by Improving Patient Recall
The average contact lens wearer returns to clinic every 16 months,1 a figure that suggests that most patients are overwearing their contact lenses because contact lenses are generally dispensed in annual supplies. Patients overwear their contact lenses for a number of reasons. It is an issue that prescribers need to continually help prevent to promote contact lens success and safety.2
One way to improve patient compliance is to get them back into the exam chair on schedule. That way, you can reeducate them about the importance of discarding their contact lenses on time.3,4 In fact, it has been scientifically shown that simply attending an exam improves patient compliance.3,4
Patient recall is a complex process that starts even before a patient’s first appointment. Building a strong patient-practitioner relationship is key to earning a loyal patient.5 This starts with having good initial interactions with patients during the scheduling process and while they are making their way through the eyecare office.5
Also, at your patients’ initial visit, they should be given information about when their next exam will be scheduled and how they will be notified of their upcoming appointment, preferably by the patient’s requested method (e.g., phone, email, postcard).6
Furthermore, a patient recall system should be consistent and managed by a designated person within the office to help avoid patients getting lost in the system.6 The recall systems should also be studied and continually optimized because the ideal recall system varies by location.6
Contacting patients throughout the year by asking them about their exam experience, thanking them for their time, and sending them appointment reminders will make it more likely that your patients will be satisfied with your services and return to your office.5 This practice should also help improve patient compliance, because patients will be receiving more consistent education. It will also likely make your practice more profitable because maintaining existing patients is far more cost effective compared to attracting new ones.5
1. Dumbleton K, Richter D, Bergenske P, Jones LW. Compliance with Lens Replacement and the Interval between Eye Examinations. Optom Vis Sci. 2013 Apr;90:351-358.
2. Dumbleton K, Richter D, Woods C, Jones L. Fonn D. Compliance with Contact Lens Replacement in Canada and the United States. Optom Vis Sci. 2010 Feb;87:131-139.
3. Ramamoorthy P, Nichols JJ. Compliance Factors Associated with Contact Lens-Related Dry Eye. Eye Contact Lens. 2014 Jan;40:17-22.
4. Morgan PB, Efron N, Toshida H, Nichols JJ. An International Analysis of Contact Lens Compliance. Cont Lens Anterior Eye. 2011 Oct;34:223-228.
5. Smith FM, Kirchner J, West WD. Creating Patients for Life. Optometry. 2008 Sep;79:525-527.
6. Gerber G. Better Recall System Equals Greater Practice Revenue. Optometry. 2007 Dec;78:678-679.
MATERIALS & DESIGNS
David L. Kading, OD
A Size Change
Scleral lenses have become a mainstay of many of our practices. If they have not become a mainstay in your practice, I anticipate that they soon will. After about 10 fits, you should be comfortable with your lens fitting set and how to modify your lens fits.
We certainly want to maintain the sagittal depth that we desire and have an outcome that clears the limbus. For most cases, I find that modifying the periphery into a toric scleral curve is a very common modification that I need to make.
One lens modification that you might not be thinking about is changing the diameter. Many scleral curves become more toric the further away from the limbus that we go. Although this is not a hard-set rule, you may want to keep it in mind as a general rule. As such, if you note a significant amount of toricity in your peripheral curves, consider going to a slightly smaller diameter. Likewise, if you’re attempting to improve stability for an anterior toric lens, you may want to consider going larger and incorporating toric scleral curves to help you better lock in the lens.
These changes might best be demonstrated through a fitting set from your laboratory, and you certainly would want to have a conversation about these changes with your consultant. By simply changing the diameter, you can make your scleral lenses fit in a whole new way.
Treatment of Contact Lens-Related Dry Eye with Antibacterial Honey
Contact lens-induced dry eye affects approximately 50% of contact lens wearers. The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of Manuka (Leptospermum sp.) honey eye drops (Optimel, Melcare) on dry eye in contact lens wearers. The safety of the honey eye drops in contact lens wear and contact lens wearers’ compliance were also evaluated.
Twenty-four participants aged 20 to 55 years who had contact lens-related dry eye were recruited and randomized to two treatment groups; 20 completed the study. One group used Optimel eye drops twice a day for two weeks followed by conventional lubricant (Systane Ultra, Alcon) therapy for two weeks; the other group completed the treatments in the reverse order. Before and after each treatment, dry eye symptomology, ocular surface inflammation, and tear quantity and quality were assessed. Participants completed a daily log detailing their usage of treatments and any issues.
Dry eye symptoms improved significantly after Optimel treatment. Patients who had more severe symptoms at baseline showed a greater improvement in symptoms. No significant differences were observed in the objective signs of dry eye, presumably because of the short treatment duration. Seventy-five percent of contact lens wearers reported good adherence to Optimel treatment, and 95% reported no issues using this product.
The authors concluded that Optimel Eye Drops reduce the symptoms of dry eye in contact lens wearers and are safe to use. A longer treatment period to assess the effect on clinical signs of dry eye is required.
Wong D, Albietz JM, Tran H, Du Toit C, Li AH, Yun T, Han J, Schmid KL. Treatment of contact lens related dry eye with antibacterial honey. Cont Lens Anterior Eye. 2017 Oct 9. [Epub ahead of print]