Article

CLINICAL: CONTACT LENSES

MULTIFOCAL INNOVATION

HOW TO OFFER THE LATEST CONTACT LENS OPTIONS TO YOUR PRESBYOPIC PATIENTS

MULTIFOCAL CONTACT lens opportunities have exploded in the market. The increase in this contact lens-wearing population creates a business opportunity within our practices.

A few factors have helped contribute to this growth, including improved fitting guides, new materials that have increased comfort, especially in the daily disposable category, and a greater range of clear vision. Presbyopic patients are asking to see better and are willing to spend a little extra to achieve that with contact lenses. Offer the newest options.

FITTING GUIDES

Quite a few fitting guides exist for multifocal contact lenses on the market, including your “past experience” fitting guide, or the one you created through trial and error with patients. (Try to avoid using that mental guide, as it may lead you down the wrong path via outdated information.)

You can minimize follow-up appointments by becoming proficient with the various fitting guides. In addition, listen to the specific needs of the patient, and apply those needs to the given fitting guide.

For example, a patient may be 20/20 OU at distance and 20/30 OU at near, but asking for more sharpness in the distance. The fitting guide will lead you to the change necessary to improve this patient’s distance vision, even with a plano over-refraction. That said, it is important to communicate to the patient the potential loss of clarity with his or her near vision with that change.

COMFORT

Comfort with contact lens wear is almost always an issue, as many presbyopes suffer from dry eye disease. Daily disposable multifocal options aim to add moisture to the wear experience through high-performing material. And clinical research has aided manufacturers in this development, with attention to dryness caused by a high use of digital devices. A high-performing material, coupled with the manufacturer’s best multifocal design, create a win-win for our patients and practice.

Address the advantages of these new designs with your patients: “Mrs. Smith, I have used this lens design with my single vision wearing patients, and they have reported improved comfort consistently. Recently, this lens has been launched with an advanced multifocal design, which will improve your vision at both distance and near.”

RANGE OF CLEAR VISION

Recent contact lens designs aim to maximize comfort, but also provide the best vision during different visual tasks. We all know presbyopic patients would like the clarity and range of vision they had in their pre-presbyopic lives. These lens designs have been optimized for today’s patient.

When speaking with patients, I say, “multifocal contact lenses can provide about 90% of your visual needs when we meet that final power determination.” This sets the stage that the lenses will not be perfect, but instead provide a good range of clarity throughout the day. Due to improved fitting guides, material and designs, I can confidently make that statement.

WIN-WIN

Many presbyopic patients want freedom from eyeglasses and readers. They want that youthful appearance contact lenses provide. Stay current on multifocal options, and you may experience a jump start in your multifocal contact lens business. OM