Prescribing for Presbyopia
Daily Disposables: Problem Solver for the Presbyope
BY THOMAS G. QUINN, OD, MS
Daily disposable lenses may be ideal for adolescents and occasional contact lens wearers (Wagner et al, 2011; Efron et al, 2012), but there’s another population that’s ideal for daily disposable wear: presbyopes. Though well suited for occasional wear due to specific lifestyle requests (e.g. “I just want contact lenses for social occasions and when I work out”), presbyopes are great daily disposable lens candidates for other reasons.
It has been well established that contact lens-related dryness is often a partner on the path to presbyopia (Moss et al, 2008). Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), which becomes more prevalent as we age (Hom et al, 1990), has been found to be associated with contact lens-related dryness (Young et al, 2012). MGD reduces the lipids available to the tear film, promoting more rapid tear break-up, and resulting in a relatively drier lens surface that accumulates deposits more quickly. This surface spoilage leads to reduced contact lens comfort, episodes of “foggy” vision, and ultimately contact lens dropout.
Presbyopes may lack ocular vigor, but many have financial independence. When presented with the indisputable case of how daily disposable lenses can improve their quality of life, many presbyopes decide on the spot to go with your recommendation.
When discussing the cost of contact lenses, we break out material fees from our service fee. Material fees are set to be competitive with online contact lens sources. When presenting material costs, be sure to factor in manufacturer rebates, which can be as much as $85 to $100.
Also remind patients that, with daily disposable lenses, there’s no need to buy contact lens care solutions. This cost savings helps offset the expense of materials.
A Little Philosophy
We believe daily disposable lenses are a great option for virtually all contact lens wearers, so we recommend daily disposable lenses to most patients. We assess a lower service fee to fit daily disposable lenses as opposed to what we charge for 2-week or monthly replacement lenses. We feel good about this approach because:
1. It encourages patients to choose the daily disposable option
2. Patient response to daily disposable lenses is almost universally positive. As such, we generally spend less time managing these patients.
3. When all is said and done, we’re still making more profit by prescribing daily disposable lenses than we’d earn fitting 2-week or monthly lenses.
Make a Recommendation
The final key to success with daily disposable lenses is to make a firm recommendation for this modality. If you believe, as I do, that daily disposables are the way to go for most patients, state that with confidence. Most patients appreciate clear guidance.
Daily disposable lenses provide patients with a healthy option in soft lens wear. When pursued, your office benefits from happy patients and higher profit margins.
When presented in the right way, everybody wins with daily disposables! CLS
For references, please visit www.clspectrum.com/references.asp and click on document SE2013.
Dr. Quinn is in group practice in Athens, Ohio. He is an advisor to the GP Lens Institute and an area manager for Vision Source. He is an advisor or consultant to Alcon and B+L, has received research funding from Alcon, AMO, Allergan, and B+L, and has received lecture or authorship honoraria from Alcon, B+L, CooperVision, GPLI, SynergEyes, and STAPLE program. You can reach him at email@example.com.