/ /

  • linkedin
  • Increase Font
  • Sharebar

    Contact lens follow-ups

    Point-counterpoint

     

    Follow-up visits benefit the patient and practitioner

    Here are 3 reasons why

    Jason Miller, OD, MBA, FAAO

    Reasons for contact lens follow-upsContact lens follow-up appointments can be a useful tool to complete the contact lens fitting, but they can also be an adventure of never ending, non-revenue producing follow-up appointments. Take the time to educate your patients how the follow-up process works in your office and outline the reasons for these appointments in order to minimize the number of appointments. These appointments are critical to the success of contact lens wearers within your practice and can lead to a strong contact lens profit center.

    Although there certainly is a balance in respecting your patient’s time and providing the best possible eye care to each and every patient, this follow-up is critical to success with many patients. There are three major reasons this appointment will increase success with contact lens wearers and prevent potential dropouts.

    1. Education and patient accountability 

    If the patient is overusing or overwearing his diagnostic lenses, this is an opportunity to remind him of proper wearing habits. 

    Compliance is a major concern with contact lens wearers. Contact lens complications, such as red eyes, infiltrative keratitis, corneal ulcers, giant papillary conjunctivitis (GPC), and more could potentially damage the patient’s ability to wear contact lenses. Communication is really the opportunity for the eyecare practitioner to educate the patient on the way that we feel it is in his best interest to care for the lenses. This is the critical moment during a patient encounter in which we incorporate all of the findings and combine them with our knowledge base and experience to give the patient the best recommendation. 

    Patients don’t want to cause harm to their eyes, but they get mixed messages about proper wearing habits. I once had a gas permeable (GP) wearer who stored his lenses in his mouth while he slept. He had had multiple visits to other eye doctors and was never told that is a bad idea.

    Patients can become passive about contact lens wear if their eyecare professional is passive about providing comprehensive wear instructions. As clinicians, we can use this follow-up to further solidify our patients’ wearing instructions and provide them with the healthiest lens, the cleanest lens, and the lens with the least risk of infection.

    2. Opportunity to wear the prescribed lenses in their normal, everyday environment

    Like a test drive, this short wearing period may expose potential comfort problems. Discomfort is the number one reason for contact lens dropouts.

    The key here is to listen to your patients and understand what they are looking for in a contact lens. Make sure to prescribe a specific lens that meets those needs and capture that excitement. Individualize your contact lens prescribing habits to best meet each patient’s lifestyle and to maximize comfort.

    I tell patients this: "I'm going to focus on providing you with the best vision, and contact lenses can offer you that opportunity. In addition, I want to make sure you contact lenses are the most comfortable you have ever worn." Set the expectations up front. I want thepatient involved in the lens fitting process and providing feedback to me all along this journey.

    Additionally, having an opportunity to wear the prescribed lenses will potentially preventing future returns and “buyers remorse.”

    3. Maximize vision

    The optometric oath states that, “I will advise my patients fully and honestly of all which may serve to restore, maintain or enhance their vision and general health.”1

    After the patient adjusts to her new medical devices, we have an opportunity to fine-tune her prescription and maximize her vision in all situations—distance, near, computer, low-light situations, night driving, etc. Utilize this time to make sure the patient has maximized her vision with her contact lenses.

    As you and your staff become more efficient with this process, the office will be able to streamline the contact lens fits and maximize success. Ultimately, the key to success for choosing the best modality is listening to your patients in order to understand what they are looking for in a contact lens. It’s best to make specific recommendations based on patients’ preferences and their ocular health, which will ultimately lead to improved compliance and maximize success with contact lenses.

    Next: Dr. Mile Brujic says contact lens follow-ups aren't necessary

    Mile Brujic, OD, FAAO
    Dr. Mile Brujic practices in Bowling Green, OH. He also owns Optometric Insights, a service providing career coaching to optometrists.
    Jason Miller, OD, MBA, FAAO
    Dr. Miller is a partner in a three-doctor private practice in Powell, OH, and he is an adjunct faculty member for The Ohio State ...

    0 Comments

    You must be signed in to leave a comment. Registering is fast and free!

    All comments must follow the ModernMedicine Network community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated. ModernMedicine reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part,in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

    • No comments available

    Optometry Times A/V