Contact Lens Spectrum Supplements

Special Edition 2017

Contact Lens Spectrum

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24 C O N T A C T L E N S S P E C T R U M S P E C I A L E D I T I O N 2 0 1 7 c l s p e c t r u m . c o m SET YOURSELF APART Considering how many patients would benefit from specialty contact lenses, very few eyecare practitioners prescribe them. By offering this specialized care, you will create a name for yourself. Our practice was recent- ly named one of the "Top Ten Eye Care Practices in America," and we feel a large part of that was because we have helped many patients with specialty lenses. I attribute much of my success in building my specialty lens practice to simply recommending them to patients I feel may benefit from them. By doing so, I quickly grew my specialty lens patient base from essentially zero in 2012 to more than 1,000 patients in just 4 years. That goes to show you that even in a small rural community, there are definitely patients who need specialty lenses. If you explain all options to your patients and always keep the patient's best interest at heart, you will be pleasantly surprised at how many opt for the best treatment. CLS Please explain these options to your patients even if you think they may have heard about them before. You will be shocked by the number of patients who have irregular corneas and have never heard of specialty con- tact lenses. FOSTER PATIENT LOYALTY Patients who wear specialty contact lenses will be- come some of your most loyal patients. They under- stand that their situation is unique, and if you earn their trust and respect, they will stay with you forever. Some of my patients travel hours for their eye care. Some have even moved to another state but still travel to our clinic for their specialty lenses. If you offer specialty lenses to your patients, consider them lifelong patients. CULTIVATE PROFESSIONAL RELATIONSHIPS Many practitioners have no desire to prescribe spe- cialty contact lenses. When they find someone who is an expert in these complicated lens fits, they are happy to refer them. I have great relationships with other eyecare profes- sionals in my area who refer their patients to me for spe- cialty lenses. I always send the referring doctor a letter after the consultation, explaining the treatment plan, and I always send the patient back to the referring doctor for any other eyecare services and products. This builds trust and keeps these relationships strong. Another referral source is contact lens manufacturers. For example, practitioners in other states may have pa- tients who live in Arizona during the winter, and they need an eyecare practitioner who can help with their specialty lenses. If the practitioner does not know a spe- cialty lens doctor in Arizona, they may reach out to their lens manufacturer for help in locating a doctor who can see their patient during the winter. The specialty lens community of fitters is quite small, and you will quickly develop connections and build a network with practitioners throughout the nation or the world. INTRODUCING SPECIAL TY LENSES UNCOVERING A NEED FOR SPECIALTY LENSES A 59-year-old woman who had undergone RK in 1991 came to our office for a comprehen- sive eye examination, intending to update her eyeglasses. She had great unaided vision until 2002, but has worn eyeglasses since then. With a new refrac- tion, she achieved 20/30 visual acuity with each eye. After completing her examination, I asked if her vi- sion ever fluctuates during the day or seems unstable. She said her vision was different when she woke up in the morning compared to at lunchtime, in the after- noon, and in the evening. I told her, "There is a special type of contact lens called a scleral lens that may be able to help stabilize your vision. It is unique and cus- tom to your eye, and it has worked well for many of my patients who have had RK surgery. Is that something you would be interested in?" I give this same speech to many patients whom I feel might benefit from spe- cialty lenses. Many of them are not interested in contact lenses, but I feel it is my duty to let them know about all of their treatment options. The patient agreed to a trial and now enjoys 20/25 visual acuity. She says her vision is much more stable than it has been in years. Dr. Woo owns Havasu Eye Center, Parker Vision Care, and Blythe Vision Care. She is vice president of the Scleral Lens Education Society and a GPLI Advisory Board member. She is a consultant or advisor to Alcon, Blanchard, Bio-Tissue, Bausch +Lomb, Essilor, and X-Cel. I h a v e g r e a t r e l a t i o n s h i p s w it h o t h e r e y e c a r e p r o fe s s i o n a l s i n m y a r e a w h o r e fe r p a t i e n t s t o m e f o r s p e c i a l t y l e n s e s .

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