contact lens focus
Progressive Point of View
Hybrid lens offers patients a convenient option.
JENNIFER REDFERN, O.D.
Like any doctor, I want my patients to be happy. To do that, I focus on optimizing their vision, comfort and convenience.
To illustrate, consider the case of a 56-year-old male who complained about having to take his eyeglasses on and off to read (prescription: OD: -2.00D, -.75 × 77. OS -2.00D 0.50 × 105, with +2.00 add).
I’ve worn many of the different contact lenses on the market, and, based on the patient’s needs, I recommended he wear SynergEyes’ Duette Progressive lens.
Duette Progressive contact lenses’ fitting approach is based on aligning the GP base curve with the flat K and starting with the 8.4mm (flat) skirt. This approach helps provide all-day tear exchange, lens movement and optimum lens centration and optics, which dictates that the patient will have success.
I’ve found some of the best candidates for this design are patients who have a hard time seeing at the end of the day due to discomfort. In addition, those who struggle to see while driving at night and patients who still use readers often, despite contact lens wear, benefit from these lenses.
Fitting and chair time
Fitting is as easy as taking K readings (which takes roughly five minutes), refracting (which is normally part of every contact lens exam) and calling SynergEyes to place an order (which takes another five minutes and can be delegated to staff). This process saves chair time compared with multiple 45-minute appointments for trial fitting and follow-up appointments, which used to be the standard.
MATERIAL: Hyper Dk GP center bonded to a soft silicone hydrogel skirt
Dk/T: GP center: 130; SiHy skirt: 84
WEARING SCHEDULE: Daily wear
SCHEDULE: Six months
BASE CURVE: 7.1mm to 8.3mm in 0.2mm steps
POWER: +5.50D to -10.00D; three add powers: +1.00D, +1.75D, +2.50D
Roughly 75% of my patients who wear Duette lenses report they are comfortable within a week. If comfort is not acceptable, I look to correct fitting issues first (usually lens movement). In most cases, flattening the skirt curve produces the desired results. Subsequent tweaks are typically changes in the lens power.
That said, my Duette patients require few follow-up visits because near vision is usually sufficient after the first visit without having to sacrifice distance.
Patients who used to need up to five or six follow-up visits now require about one or two additional visits on average with the Duette contact lenses. This benefits our practice because these follow-up visits are essentially no-charge exams — the fewer we have, the more time we have to see patients for paid exams.
Marketing & ROI
Setting appropriate patient expectations has been key to my success. Specifically, I educate patients to expect one week of lens adaptation and explain they will experience highly functional vision at near, mid and far with optimum lighting. As a result, I warn patients not to expect to read the fine print on a menu in a dimly lit restaurant.
Although hybrid contact lenses were introduced almost 10 years ago, many patients don’t know about them because many practitioners haven’t learned about them. Other doctors and patients have shied away from hybrid lenses due to price. Now, this is no longer the issue, as you don’t have to buy fitting sets and the lenses are priced competitively.
The patients who experience the benefits of these lenses have an increased perception of my ability and what I prescribe.
When I tell my patients I’m confident in what they can expect from hybrid lenses, they trust my recommendation. This leads to better patient retention and more referrals and provides huge potential to grow my practice among presbyopic and astigmatic contact lens wearers.
In addition, patients who were not previously familiar with hybrid contact lenses have an increased perception of our practice because we’re offering them something “new.”
Another benefit to consider: SynergEyes lenses are solely available through private practices. So, patients don’t go elsewhere for their Duette Progressive lenses after we write a prescription.
A satisfied customer
After fitting my aforementioned patient who previously experienced frustration with wearing readers with the Duette Progressive, he now enjoys 20/16 distance and 20/20 near lens.
This is just one example of a patient who has benefited from this contact lens. OM
DR. REDFERN PRACTICES AT PEPOSE VISION INSTITUTE IN CHESTERFIELD, MO. A BOARD CERTIFIED OPTOMETRIST IN MISSOURI, SHE COMPLETED HER BACHELOR OF SCIENCE DEGREE IN CELL AND MOLECULAR BIOLOGY AT MISSOURI STATE UNIVERSITY AND GRADUATED WITH HONORS FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI-ST. LOUIS. SEND COMMENTS TO OPTOMETRICMANAGEMENT@GMAIL.COM.