A Clear Solution
A Clear Solution
Discuss contact lens solution compliance with patients.
JASON R. MILLER, O.D., M.B.A., F.A.A.O.
The unfortunate reality is that there is significant room for increasing our patients’ solution compliance levels. Many patients “top-off” their solutions and don’t change their solution daily.1,2 This is why we must constantly re-educate patients on the specifics of their care regimen.
Here are the strategies to increase patient compliance:
Modality is an important topic to address, because patients who do not comply with their wear schedule often have comfort issues that affect their lens-wearing experience. When patients are in a modality that meets their lifestyle, they are more likely to be more compliant with their solution.
The key to maximizing compliance is to listen to your patients’ needs to individualize your contact lens prescribing habits to best meet each patient’s lifestyle. Just ask the patient if he/she prefers to wear one-day, two-week disposable or one-month disposable lenses. Let the patient know you have many options in the category that best fit his/her lifestyle and will find a lens that maximizes comfort.
Also, be sure to prescribe the lens care products that you feel provide the cleanest lens and most comfortable wearing experience for that modality.
Provide continual education.
Just as important as the replacement schedule is the cleaning and care of contact lenses. When taking a thorough history, use pointed questions to determine whether patients are washing their hands, rubbing their lenses, replacing their solution daily and cleaning their case regularly. We simply ask our patients; “How often do you change your lenses? Do you sleep overnight in your lenses, and in which solutions do you store your lenses?”
Evaluate your patients' hygiene habits while they are in your office.
Additionally, evaluate your patients’ lens hygiene habits while they are in your office. Observe whether they wash their hands prior to lens insertion or rinse them off and clean them prior to inserting.
If you see any evidence of non-compliance, re-educate them on proper cleaning and care procedures.
Prescribe a specific solution.
Starter kits given at the end of an examination may provide an implied recommendation, but unless that message is reinforced, our patients don’t understand the importance of using any particular contact lens care solution or place any value on it.
Without properly educating our patients, they often make a decision strictly based on price even after all the time and expertise that was used to create a proper contact lens fit.
When discussing the reasons for using certain solutions, keep it simple: “I never want comfort to limit your ability to wear contact lenses successfully, which is why I want you to use this particular contact lens care system. Make sure to store the contact lenses in fresh solution.”
Practitioners must take time during every visit to constantly re-educate lens wearers on the specifics of their care regimen. When approached for improving comfort, patients are usually very compliant and willing to modify their care. OM
1. Stone R. The importance of compliance: Focusing on the key steps. Poster presented at the 2007 annual meeting of the British Contact Lens Association. May 2007; Manchester, UK.
2. Contact Lens Council. New survey finds more education on contact lenses and lens care will help consumers see 20/20. PR Newswire 2007 August 15.
DR. MILLER IS A PARTNER IN A PRIVATE PRACTICE IN POWELL, OHIO, AND IS AN ADJUNCT FACULTY MEMBER FOR THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY COLLEGE OF OPTOMETRY. SEND COMMENTS TO OPTOMETRICMANAGEMENT@GMAIL.COM.
Optometric Management, Volume: 48 , Issue: May 2013, page(s): 66