Building Your Practice

Information and education pertaining to driving a profitable practice. Topics in this section include marketing, advertising, technology, the economy, and running a business as it relates to the eye care industry.

The Benefits of Multifocal Contact Lenses

Posted by Harvard Sylvan, OD 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.

Why Multifocals?

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.

Growing the Multifocal Practice Part 2

Posted by Harvard Sylvan, OD on Tuesday, June 26, 2012

There are several ways to boost the number of patients with presbyopia who wear soft multifocal lenses in your practice. The first and most important way is for the doctor to recommend, or at least offer soft multifocals as an option to all patients with presbyopia who may be suitable candidates. Here are some more tips to help you grow your multifocal practice

  • Realize That Patients Rely On Your Opinion: Patients need to know all of their vision correction options when it comes to presbyopia. In a recent European survey, patients were asked why they chose the contact lenses that they were wearing. The number one reason by far why they wore the lenses that they wore (61% - the next closest response was 20%) was because of ‘the recommendation of the doctor.’ In a study in Denmark last year entitled “Sight over Forty,” most patients with presbyopia said that they were unaware that soft multifocal contacts even existed as an option and that 50% of them were interested in trying them if their doctors had suggested them.
  • Train Your Staff: Another important factor is to train your staff to be knowledgeable about presbyopia and soft multifocal lenses. There are opportunities for trained staff to discuss presbyopia and the options to correct it when patients call the office, at the reception desk upon entering the office, during pre-testing, and in the dispensary. Staff should have enough of an understanding to be able to guide patients to ask the doctor if they may be a suitable candidate for soft multifocal lenses. It is helpful if any of your staff members with presbyopia wears soft multifocal lenses in the office. They can discuss their own experience with soft multifocal contact lenses with patients.
  • Learn About New Product Offerings: There is a new multifocal contact lens option that should help you build out your multifocal practice even further. Proclear 1 day multifocal contact lenses can appeal to a broad group of patients with presbyopia. One day disposables are certainly the most convenient and healthiest contact lens option.
  • Identify Ideal Multifocal Candidates: Whether its emerging presbyopes who prefer the one day modality, patients who would like to wear contact lenses occasionally or even patients interested in switching over to multifocal contact lenses from monovision, there are a variety of patients that you can fit with multifocal contact lenses. All of your single vision one day patients who now have presbyopia and current patients with presbyopia who are wearing one day lenses as monovision are ideal candidates. Many current soft multifocal wearers in a two week or monthly modality may be interested in wearing a daily disposable now that a viable option is available.

The key is to be proactive. Informing and educating your patients with presbyopia about soft multifocal lenses and making a recommendation that will benefit them will result in a definite increase in the number of patients wearing these lenses.

Prescribing For Presbyopia

Posted by CooperVision on Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Usually, people between the ages of 40 and 45 will start to see the effects of presbyopia. As we wrote about in a previous post, presbyopia is a natural process that makes it difficult to read small print because the lens inside the eye becomes less flexible. This flexibility is what allows the eye to change focus from objects that are far to objects that are close.

Your eye doctor can suggest a variety of options to correct presbyopia. Some common options to correct presbyopia include:

  • Reading Glasses: Patients can use these for reading, computer use, and other activities that require close vision.
  • Bifocal, Trifocal or Progressive Glasses: These are worn for seeing at all distances. However, since the reading portion is in the lower part of the lenses, seeing up close in a straight ahead gaze is difficult. Since people typically use computers with the screen directly in front of them, this is not an ideal situation. Another issue is that the reading area and field of view of these eyeglasses is relatively small. This requires patients to move their head in order to see wider areas like a computer screen or newspaper.
  • Monovision Contact Lenses: One way to wear contact lenses for presbyopia is to wear one lens for reading in one eye and one lens in the opposite eye for seeing in the distance (or just one lens in one eye for reading - if no distance prescription is necessary). This is called monovision. The problem with monovision is that you are only seeing with one eye at either distance or near and your vision in between them may be blurred. You also lose depth perception and the vision is never as clear as when both eyes are seeing at the same distance.
  • Multifocal Contact Lenses: This is another option for people with presbyopia. Like progressive glasses, the vision is corrected for all distances. However with contact lenses, a person is always looking through the center of the lens. Both the distance and near corrections have to be in the center of the lens. This creates simultaneous vision where both near and distance images are created. It takes some time for patients to adjust because the brain has to learn to select the clearer image depending on what is being viewed. The advantage of multifocal contacts is that anywhere that you look, you are looking through the center of the lens. It is also a great option for patients who are active and want to look their best.

CooperVision offers a variety of multifocal contact lens choices. The latest offering is to ask your eye doctor about is a daily disposable multifocal contact lens called Proclear 1 day multifocal contact lenses. Make sure to ask your eye doctor about what option is best for you.

Growing Your Multifocal Practice

Posted by CooperVision on Thursday, May 31, 2012

According to Contact Lens Spectrum, patients who suffer from presbyopia are projected to be the single largest group of potential contact lens wearers by 2018. With so many presbyopic patients flooding the market, fitting multifocal contact lenses is a smart way for eye care practitioners to grow their practices.

Presbyopic patients have not had too many options in the past when it came to contact lenses. As a result, contact lens usage drops among patients after the age of 45 which is when patients need vision correction because of presbyopia. The good news is that now, there are a lot of new multifocal contact lens options available. Is your practice ready to help fit these patients with new multifocal contact lenses?

Here are some tips to help you grow a successful multifocal practice:

  • Focus on Your Patients: It helps when eye care practitioners ask patients what they need vision correction for. Does the patient need it for precision work? Does the patient need uncompromised distance vision? Are there lifestyle needs that the patient has where eyeglasses are not a great option? It is easier for eye care practitioners to decide which patients may be the best candidates for multifocal contact lenses once those questions are answered.
  • Learn About Fitting For Presbyopes: Fitting prospective multifocal contact lens patients the first time can be challenging. Take advantage of contact lens manufacturers’ fitting tools in order to ensure that your patients are fit right the first time. CooperVision offers a fitting tool called the MultiTrak Calculator to help you calculate multifocal lens parameters directly from a spectacle prescription or an over-refraction, using lens-on-eye information. MultiTrack is available for your desktop computer and is a Web-based application, which gives you the added benefit of being able to order lenses directly from the application.
  • Follow Up: Patients with presbyopia will need a follow up just to ensure that the vision correction is ideal for them. Following up with patients after a few days will allow eye care practitioners to adjust the prescription in necessary or even recommend a different modality based on the patient’s lifestyle needs. For example, patients who would like to wake up and see right away may benefit from extended wear contact lenses such as CooperVision’s Biofinity Multifocal contact lenses. If patients don’t want to deal with the hassle of contact lens maintenance, there is even a daily disposable multifocal contact lens option. CooperVision just introduced Proclear 1 day multifocal contact lenses. Whatever the need your presbyopic patient has, there are options.

Make sure to take advantage of the latest multifocal contact lens offerings and watch your multifocal practice thrive!

Don’t Miss It! Free Webinar on Fitting Patients with Multifocal Daily Disposables

Posted by CooperVision on Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Are you interested in building your practice? Make sure to catch today’s second part of a webinar series called Your Practice In Focus.

This second webinar is Fitting Patients With Multifocal Daily Disposables. Daily disposable lenses have many advantages over other lens modalities. It is a segment of contact lenses that is growing rapidly. Another significant segment is the presbyopic population. According to a recent study, 25 percent more people globally are expected to become presbyopic by the year 2020. This is incredibly significant given that the pool of presbyopes is already estimated at more than one billion worldwide.

However, the choices for lenses that are both multifocal and daily disposable are very limited. Eye care practitioners have had to have patients choose between vision performance and convenience, but that is no longer the case. With CooperVision’s Proclear® 1 day multifocal contact lenses, eye care practitioners will have a high performance multifocal contact lens that is also a convenient daily disposable.

This webinar, hosted by CooperVision’s Senior Manager of Clinical Research, Paul Chamberlain, will provide an overview of Proclear 1 day multifocal contact lenses and the benefits of building your multifocal practice. Don’t miss out! Make sure to register for this exciting webinar here.

CooperVision Introduces Proclear® 1 day multifocal lenses

Posted by CooperVision on Tuesday, May 29, 2012

More than one billion people worldwide have a vision condition called presbyopia, which is a natural decrease in the ability of the lens in the eye to change its shape to focus on close objects. We’ve all seen others struggle with trying to read menus and newspapers. Maybe it has even happened to you.

CooperVision announced the launch of Proclear® 1 day multifocal daily disposable contact lenses for patients like you who are looking for a convenient, comfortable, and healthier lens to wear full time, occasionally, or to complement progressive eyeglasses or reading glasses.

“When it comes to your vision or the way you live your life, we don’t think anyone should have to compromise,” said Dennis Murphy, Executive Vice President, Global Sales and Marketing, CooperVision. “With Proclear® 1 day multifocal lenses, vision is clear near, far, and in-between, without the need for spectacles.”

Not only is it a high performance contact lens, it is comfortable too. Proclear® is the only lens material cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the claim that it: “May provide improved comfort for those who experience dryness or mild discomfort during lens wear.” This is especially important for patients who often find that age-related dryness is an issue and deterrent for wearing contact lenses. Proclear® also offers natural biocompatibility, meaning that the lenses are made to imitate the cells of the human eye.

It is convenient too. With daily disposable lenses, the cost and hassle of contact lens maintenance is eliminated. And because the lenses are replaced each day, they are one of the healthiest contact lens options available. Proclear® 1 day multifocal lenses provide patients with the freedom to maintain an active and social lifestyle, allowing the wearer to decide whether to wear the lenses all day, part of the day, or reserve them for special situations. Plus, as your prescription changes, your eye care practitioner can easily adjust it, which means minimal disturbance to your vision, shorter appointments, and fewer follow-ups.

The lens will be launched initially in the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and a number of European countries. Click here to learn more on the Proclear® 1 day multifocal.

Free Webinar on Fitting Patients with Multifocal Daily Disposables

Posted by CooperVision on Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Are you interested in building your practice? Make sure to register for the second webinar in a three part series called Your Practice in Focus. This webinar series is in partnership with ODWire.org and will focus on important topics and trends that will help eye care practitioners build their practices. Make sure to attend all three if you can!

The second webinar in the series is Fitting Patients with Multifocal Daily Disposables.

According to a recent study, 25 percent more people globally are expected to become presbyopic by the year 2020. This is incredibly significant given that the pool of presbyopes is already estimated at more than one billion worldwide.

Is your practice ready?

Many eye care practitioners find that multifocal contact lenses can be hard to fit, and that success with patients is not always a guarantee. And given the limited daily disposable options for presbyopes, it has been hard to build out a robust multifocal practice for some eye care practitioners.

CooperVision is offering this free webinar on fitting multifocal patients with Proclear® 1 day multifocal contact lenses on May 30, 2012 at 9:00 pm EST. The webinar will introduce a new, simple to fit, daily disposable multifocal lens that you can use to build out your multifocal practice.

CooperVision’s Senior Manager of Clinical Research, Paul Chamberlain, will go over the basics of this exciting new product and answer all of your questions about this new contact lens option for your multifocal patients. Make sure to register here for your chance to learn about this innovative new contact lens and expand your practice.

Questions to Ask About Patient Compliance

Posted by CooperVision on Thursday, May 17, 2012

With as many advancements as there are with contact lenses, most eye care practitioners still wish their patients were fully compliant. Patients who are not compliant can put themselves at risk for conditions such as corneal infections.

How can eye care practitioners help improve patient compliance?

First, eye care practitioners should think about signs that patients may not be compliant. The Review of Optometry recommends that eye care practitioners ask patients the following questions in order to assess patient compliance:

  • What contact lens solution do you use? This question allows eye care practitioners to gauge how often the patient is using their solution. If a patient can’t answer this question, then the patient may need more education about the importance of cleaning and storing contact lenses in solution.
  • How often do you sleep in your lenses? Most patients have slept in their contact lenses from time to time. This question allows eye care practitioners to decide how often patients do this in order to recommend specific modalities. For example, a monthly contact lens with the capability of extended wear may be a good recommendation for patients who sleep in their lenses more often.
  • Can you show me your contact lens case? If an eye care practitioner can see the condition of the wearer’s case, it will give the eye care practitioner an idea about typical routine of the patient. If a contact lens case is dirty or in poor condition, then the eye care practitioner may want to spend more time discussing compliance with the patient.
  • Can you show me your typical cleaning and removal routine? Asking patients to show how they care for their lenses on a daily basis can reveal a lot about compliance. For example, some eye care practitioners will find that some patients simply remove lenses without cleaning them and store them in old solution!

Just taking the time to ask patients some open ended questions can help guide eye care practitioners to give the right recommendations in order to ensure patient compliance. Make sure to visit the On Eye blog for our recommendations in order to ensure patients compliance coming soon!

Trying Contacts After 40

Posted by CooperVision on Monday, May 7, 2012

Patients who may have had perfect vision all of their life will start to notice vision issues after the age of 40. This is a normal part of the aging process. Just like a patient’s body, a patient’s eyes will change after time. Aging changes in various parts of the eye can result in a number of noticeable differences in how well a patient can see.

One issue that affects older patients is presbyopia. As we wrote about in a previous blog post, presbyopia is a condition that affects patients over the age of 40. It’s a natural process that makes it difficult to read small print because the lens inside the eye becomes less flexible. This flexibility allows the eye to change focus from objects that are far to objects that are close. While it is a normal part of the aging process, it can be a cause of frustration for some patients. The good news is that there are a variety of different options to correct presbyopia. Some common options are bifocal glasses, reading glasses, or contact lenses. Here are some contact lens options for presbyopic patients:

  • Proclear EP: For patients who are showing early signs of presbyopia, CooperVision has contact lenses called Proclear EP. Proclear EP is the first and only contact lens designed specifically for people who are just beginning to have trouble reading small type and seeing objects up close because of presbyopia.
  • Proclear Multifocal: Proclear Multifocal contact lenses are the only lenses designed to address two common conditions experienced by those with aging eyes: presbyopia and eye dryness. In fact, only Proclear lenses are 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."
  • Proclear Multifocal Toric: Proclear Multifocal Toric contact lenses are the only monthly replacement lens designed to address both astigmatism and presbyopia. As we wrote about in a previous post, astigmatism is a common refractive error that causes vision to be out of focus because the cornea is abnormally curved. So for patients who have both astigmatism and presbyopia, there is an option!
  • Biofinity Multifocal: CooperVision's Biofinity Multifocal is a high-performance, monthly silicone hydrogel lens for patients with presbyopia. It provides excellent vision at distance, intermediate and near with Balanced Progressive Technology multifocal contact lens design. Since these contact lenses are an extended wear option, an eyecare professional can recommend these contact lenses for patients who require overnight wear.
  • Proclear 1 Day Multifocal: Coming soon, CooperVision’s Proclear 1 Day Multifocal contact lenses will be the newest offering for presbyopic patients. This is a great option for patients who want the convenience of a daily disposable contact lens but need vision correction for presbyopia. Look for it in early summer!

In Case You Missed It: Daily Disposables in Your Practice

Posted by CooperVision on Friday, April 20, 2012

CooperVision held a webinar on making daily disposables a significant part of your practice on March 21. Did you miss it? Don’t worry; you can always access it in the OD Wire archive.

Daily disposable lenses have many advantages over other lens modalities. Whether its ocular health, convenience, or compliance, there are a variety of reasons that eye care professionals should consider making 1 Days a significant part of their practice. Are you ready to make "1 Days" a major part of your contact lens practice? This webinar, hosted by Dr. Kerry Gelb, offers concrete and practical advice on how to boost 1-Day usage in order to make this modality a large portion of your contact lens practice.

Specifically, Dr. Gelb discusses:

  • Advantages of 1 Days for Patients
  • Patient Compliance with 1 Days vs. Other Modalities
  • Overcoming a Patient's Financial Concerns with 1 Days
  • Trends in Market Share & Growth and How to Leverage These in your Eye Care Practice
  • A Discussion of the Greater Acceptance of the 1 Day Modality

Dr. Kerry Gelb graduated with honors from the Illinois College of Optometry and completed a one-year residency in the Diagnosis and Management of Ocular disease. He has been practicing in Woodbridge, NJ for the past 22 years. Dr. Gelb has been interviewed on both radio and television on topics related to ocular health. He frequently lectures on the topic of building a "One Day" contact lens practice, and has extensive knowledge and experience in the evaluation and fitting of specialty or "hard to fit" contact lenses.

You can access the Daily Disposables In Your Practice webinar here if you missed it the first time around!

About On Eye

On Eye is the contact lens blog from CooperVision. On this site, you will find insights about fitting, technology, and the business of contact lenses. The On Eye blog is designed to meet the needs of both Eye Care Practitioners and consumers. ECP and medical professional-specific portions of the blog will be password protected in order to protect and reserve the privacy of the profession. To read more about our terms of use, please see the Legal tab.

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