on Thursday, August 16, 2012
Eye doctors are well aware of the growing number of presbyopes in the U.S. Fitting presbyopes provides a huge opportunity for contact lens practice growth. The number of presbyopic patients is expected to double by 2030 and will account for 20% of the population. It is estimated that over 30% of patients in the average practice are presbyopes. In addition, approximately 2 million current contact lens wearers are becoming presbyopic each year… and the majority of them want to continue to wear contacts. Soft multifocal contacts provide distinct benefits for both patients and practitioners.
Benefits for Patients
We all know that for presbyopic patients, soft multifocal contacts allow them to participate in numerous activities without the hassle of glasses and provide better peripheral vision. Many people also use computers. Multifocal contacts eliminate the need to tilt the head back like patients have to with glasses. Glasses can also become uncomfortable on the bridge of the nose and on and behind the ears as well. Multifocal contacts are also a great option for patients that want to look their best. There are also benefits for children with accommodative or convergence excess problems. Most children don’t want to wear bifocal glasses and multifocal contacts allow them to have the additional plus that is needed at near. With multifocal contact lenses, younger patients may benefit from more self confidence.
Many doctors still utilize monovision to fit their presbyopic patients, but humans have a binocular visual system. There is an old adage that states, ‘two eyes are better than one’. Multifocal contacts provide improved intermediate vision that may be lacking with monovision and maintains binocular summation which enhances stereopsis and, usually, both distance and near acuity. Numerous studies have concluded that when given the opportunity to experience both multifocals and monovision, the majority of patients prefer multifocals 1,2,3 In a supplement to the July 2012 issue of Contact Lens Spectrum entitled, ‘Multifocals: The New Standard of Care’, Dr. John Schachet states, ‘We've established that multifocal contact lenses have replaced monovision as the standard of care’. I concur with that statement.
Benefits for Eye Doctors
There are also benefits to fitting multifocal contacts for doctors. The main benefit, besides the gratification of satisfying the needs of the patient, is the increase in patient referrals. Invariably, when I have successfully fit a patient with multifocals, that patient is enthusiastic and excited and always seems to have a friend, family member or co-worker that is referred for a multifocal fitting. That leads to an increase in practice revenue and profitability.
Fitting multifocal contacts benefits both patient and doctor and is the win-win solution that eye doctors are always seeking.
on Friday, March 9, 2012
As eye care patients reach the age of 40, their eye care needs will change. Specifically, they will start to realize that they need multifocal lenses or reading glasses. This is because patients over the age of 40 will be affected by an eye condition known as presbyopia. As we wrote about in a previous post on presbyopia, presbyopia is a natural age related loss of the ability to focus on close distance objects. While reading glasses used to be the only option for what patients jokingly refer to as “short arm syndrome,” there are now a variety of multifocal lenses available for presbyopes (patients with presbyopia) to consider.
Multifocal lenses are a great option for presbyopes that don’t want to compromise their active lifestyle . It provides patients the ability to see both near, intermediate, and far distances without the hassle of wearing glasses. Presbyopes can go hiking, play tennis or go biking without having to worry about their vision.
CooperVision offers the broadest range of multifocal contact lenses in terms of product and parameters. Even better, with the introduction of Biofinity Multifocal , our latest and most advanced multifocal lens, CooperVision has combined our Balanced Progressive™ Technology and the Biofinity silicone hydrogel lens material into a lens that offers presbyopes a premium lens. For presbyopes that suffer from dry eye, CooperVision offers a Proclear multifocal lens that is cleared by the FDA for the claim: "may provide improved comfort for contact lens wearers who experience mild discomfort or symptoms relating to dryness during lens wear."
Remember, communication between a patient and an eye care professional is essential in order to determine if a multifocal lens is a good fit. But the first step for eye care professionals and presbyopes is to have an open dialogue about all of the options available. Make sure you start the dialogue about multifocal lenses today!