Article Date: 6/1/2013

Prepare for Presbyopes
vision wear

Prepare for Presbyopes

Follow these tips for success with presbyopic patients.

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JASON R. MILLER, O.D., M.B.A., F.A.A.O.

If you don’t present contact lenses as an option to your presbyopic patients, they will find another provider who will.

Presbyopia is an opportunity to capture a patient by correcting this frustrating visual process with contact lenses. The technology has never been better, and the multifocal contact lens options continue to improve.

Many eyecare professionals perceive presbyopic contact lens fits as challenging, time consuming and not worth the effort. However, if you prepare your practice for these patients, the process can be streamlined significantly.

Here, I discuss how to plan for presbyopic patients.

List of Soft Multifocal Contact Lenses

Acuvue Bifocal • Vistakon (to be discontinued Dec. 31)

Acuvue Oasys • Vistakon

Air Optix Aqua Multifocal • Alcon

Biofinity Multifocal • CooperVision

C-Vue • Unilens Corp.

Focus Dailies Progressive • Alcon

Frequency 55 Multifocal • CooperVision

HD (HD 2, HD X, HD X2) • PolyVue

Proclear • CooperVision

Purevision Multi-Focal • Bausch + Lomb

Soflens Multi-Focal • Bausch + Lomb

1. Know the lenses.

Familiarize yourself with the specific designs, and understand the fitting guides and individual nuances. (See “List of Soft Multifocal Contact Lenses,” below). Even more so with multifocal lenses, a small change in the prescription can make a large improvement in the patient’s visual abilities and range of vision.

2. Educate your staff.

Train your staff on how these lenses work and what’s involved with the contact lens evaluation with this group of patients. To do this, discuss the technology, the fitting process and how the brain adapts to the lenses. Many contact lens company representatives are more than willing to come in during a staff training exercise and demonstrate the properties of multifocal lenses.

3. Prepare scripts for success.

The three things you need to discuss with your patients:

Patient lifestyle. In order to customize lenses for the patient’s situation, determine how his/her lifestyle will be affected. You can include this on a patient history form, or simply ask the patient about his/her occupation, hobbies as well as any other daily visual requirements.

Patient expectations. Educate patients that this technology has limitations so they’ll have realistic expectations, yet present options in a positive way. Describe multifocal lenses as “customized” or “balanced,” according to each patient’s visual system. For example: “These lenses are designed for your unique visual demands, and it may take a little longer to satisfy those demands. During follow-up visits, please let me know whether you need help performing a visual task.” If patients need readers to see the phone book or medicine bottles, let them know that may be necessary and is normal.

▸ Fees. Use this script: “Because the fitting of these lenses require more time and expertise than standard contact lenses, multifocal contact lenses have a higher fee associated with them.”

Embrace this population.

By utilizing the many options available for presbyopes in your practice and identifying those potential dropouts, you can help patients remain functional in contact lenses. Many of these patients find the benefit of wearing contact lenses liberating, which helps to retain current patients and expands your contact lens practice as they sing your praises. OM

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: June 2013, page(s): 74