Technology Aids CL Fittings
Technology Aids CL Fittings
Save time, and increase revenue with these devices.
Jason R. Miller, O.D., M.B.A., F.A.A.O.
As a vast majority of contact lens dropouts are due to discomfort (foreign body sensation when the lens is in the eye, ocular dryness), the use of technology is significant.1,2 In fact, a single dropout could constitute $275 in lost annual revenue (not including the future value of the patient and possible referrals). Therefore, you must find ways to limit discomfort.3
Using technology to customize patients’ contact lenses according to their individual needs allows us to add precision to the contact lens fit and increase comfort. (See “Informing Your Patients,” below.)
Here are some examples of the instrumentation that enables you to improve your contact lens success rates and deter dropouts:
Corneal topographers can improve precision with many contact lens fittings by providing the exact measurement of a patient’s corneal curvature. Topography allows an accurate fit, especially when dealing with specialty contact lenses. This information is invaluable for orthokeratology and is even required by some contact lens manufacturers.
Also, corneal topographers can reduce chair time by minimizing the number of follow-up appointments needed to assess fit and comfort, and they are very useful in diagnosing anterior segment diseases, such as keratoconus, and determining proper treatment.
The utilization of an autorefraction over patients’ current contact lenses offers additional information about their refractive status — not just nearsightedness or farsightedness, but also corneal curvatures and whether corneal irregularities are present. Before even entering the exam room, you have significant insight regarding whether an adjustment in prescription is warranted — a tremendous time saver.
Anterior segment imaging and digital photography are valuable means of documenting unique contact lens fits as well as helping patients to understand how their contact lenses perform on the eye. Demonstrating lens deposits, corneal staining or conjunctival injection also aids in raising patient awareness of the importance of lens wear and care compliance.
|Informing Your Patients
For each high-tech test that you perform, make sure your patients know the following:
• Why was the test necessary?
• What do the results mean?
• When and why will the test be performed again (if necessary)?
Tear film osmolarity measurement
Many factors affect the quality of the tear film. The increase of tear film osmolarity has been shown as a significant risk factor and part of the pathophysiology of dry eye and, subsequently, discomfort with contact lens wear.4,5
TearLab has produced the only commercially available product currently that measures osmolarity within seconds from a 50uL sample collected from the inferior tear meniscus.
Create a memorable experience
Using the newest technology with your patients helps establish your identity as a contact lens specialist and creates a personalized experience for your patients. Investing in these tools, or upgrading your current devices, to improve contact lens care saves you time and helps retain patients, thus increasing revenue. OM
References are available in the online version of this article at optometric management.com.
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: July 2013, page(s): 50